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Arabic: سنجار
Kurdish: شەنگال
Yezidi Temple on Mount Sinjar, 2004.
Yezidi Temple on Mount Sinjar, 2004.
Sinjar is located in Iraq
Location within Iraq
Coordinates: 36°19′21″N 41°51′51″E / 36.32250°N 41.86417°E / 36.32250; 41.86417Coordinates: 36°19′21″N 41°51′51″E / 36.32250°N 41.86417°E / 36.32250; 41.86417
Country  Iraq
Governorate Nineveh
District Sinjar District
Elevation 522 m (1,713 ft)
Population (2013)
 • Total 450,000
Time zone GMT (UTC+3)
This article is about the Iraqi town. 'Sinjar' may also refer to its eponymous district, mountains, or nearby plain.

Sinjar (Arabic: سنجار‎, Sinjar; Latin: Singara), also known as Shingal (Central Kurdish: شەنگال, Shengali: Şengal; Classical Syriac: ܫܝܓܳܪ, Shiggor) and formerly Sanjár,[1] is a town in Sinjar District, Nineveh Province, Iraq near Mount Sinjar. Its population in 2013 was estimated at 88,023.[2] The town is mainly inhabited by Yazidis with Arab and Assyrian minorities.

The important Chermera temple (meaning 40 Men) is found at the highest peak of the Sinjar Mountains.


Main article: Singara
Singara in a detail from Peutinger's map, a medieval copy of a 4th-century Roman original.
A map of the "Jazira"'s provinces in medieval times.

Peutinger's map of the inhabited world known to the Roman geographers depicts Singara as located west of the Trogoditi. Persi. (Latin: Troglodytae Persiae, "Persian troglodytes") who inhabited the territory around Mount Sinjar. By the medieval Arabs, Sinjar was reckoned as part of the province of Diyār Rabīʿa, the "abode of the Rabīʿa" tribe. The nearby Plain of Sanjár (now the Nineveh Plains) was the site of the determination of the degree by al-Khwārizmī and other astronomers during the reign of the caliph al-Mamun.[1] The city boasted a famous Assyrian church in the 8th century.[3]

In 2007, several explosions set off by al-Qaeda in Iraq killed hundreds of Yazidis in Sinjar.[4]

In August 2014, after the Peshmerga retreated, ISIL conquered Sinjar and perpetrated the Sinjar massacre killing 500-2,000 Yazidi civilians, according to Yazidi witnesses on 5 and 6 August, leading to a mass exodus of Yazidi residents, branded by the Islamic State as "devil worshipers".[5] The New York Times, unaware of or not trusting those reports from Yazidis themselves, reported on 7 August that "ISIS executed dozens of Yazidi men, and kept the dead men’s wives [alive] for unmarried jihadi fighters."[6]

On the night of 20 December 2014, Kurdish forces pushed into the city of Sinjar near the end of a massive offensive.[7] However, the Kurdish advance into the city was stalled, as they faced fierce resistance from the ISIL militants inside the southern half of the city.[8]

See also[edit]

Districts of Nineveh


  1. ^ a b Abul Fazl-i-Ạllámí (1894), "Description of the Earth", The Áin I Akbarí, Vol. III, Translated by H.S. Jarrett, Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press for the Asiatic Society of Bengal, p. 25–27 .
  2. ^ "Iraq: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". World Gazetteer. [dead link]
  3. ^ A short history of Syriac literature. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Shefler, Gil (August 7, 2014). "Islamic State accused of capturing Yazidi women and forcing them to convert, or else". Washington Post. Religion News Service. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ Loveday Morris (3 August 2014). "Islamic State seizes town of Sinjar, pushing out Kurds and sending Yazidis fleeing". Washington Post (WP website). Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Jihadists Rout Kurds in North and Seize Strategic Iraqi Dam. By Tim Arango. August 7, 2014
  7. ^ "Iraq's Kurds press offensive against Islamic State in Sinjar". DPA International. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Iraqi Kurds Advance Against Islamic State in Sinjar". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 December 2014.