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Arabic: سنجار
Kurdish: شەنگار/شەنگال /Şengar/Şingal
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
 • Mayor Ezdi Mirza[1]
Elevation 522 m (1,713 ft)
Population (2013)
 • Total 88,023
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[2] (Kurdish: Şengal/Şingal/Şingar/شەنگار/ شەنگال‎,[3][4][5] Syriac: ܫܝܓܳܪ, Shiggor) and formerly Sanjár,[6] is a town in Sinjar District, Nineveh Province, Iraq near Mount Sinjar. Its population in 2013 was estimated at 88,023.[7] 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.[6] The city boasted a famous Assyrian church in the 8th century.[8]

In 2007, several explosions set off by al-Qaeda in Iraq killed hundreds of Yazidis in Sinjar.[9]

Northern Iraq Offensive (2014)[edit]

In the course of their second Northern Iraq offensive in August 2014, ISIL conquered large areas of Nineveh province. Following the controversial withdrawal of the Kurdish Peshmerga they seized the city of Sinjar on 3 August. During the following days, IS militants perpetrated the Sinjar massacre, killing 2,000 Yazidi men and taking Yazidi women into slavery, leading to a mass exodus of Yazidi residents. According to a UN report, 5,000 Yazidi civilians were killed during ISIL's August offensive.[10]

On the night of 20 December 2014, in the course of a first offensive to retake it from Islamic State militants, Kurdish forces pushed into the city of Sinjar.[11] 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.[12]

On 13 November 2015, a day after launching a major second offensive, Kurdish forces and Yazidi militias backed by US airstrikes, entered the city and fully regained its control from ISIS.[13] Following the recapture, in nearby hamlet of Solagh, east of Sinjar city, Kurdish forces found a mass grave with the remains of at least 78 Yazidi women from Kocho village believed to be executed by ISIL militants.[1][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Isabel Coles (14 November 2015). "Mass Yazidi grave discovered after Iraq's Sinjar taken from Islamic State". Reuters. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  2. ^ King, Diane E. (2013). Kurdistan on the Global Stage: Kinship, Land, and Community in Iraq. Rutgers University Press. p. 181. ISBN 9780813563541. 
  3. ^ "Pêşmergeyan Şingal rizgar kirin (Peshmerga liberated Sinjar (in Kurdish)". Avesta Kurd. 13 Nov 2015. Retrieved 13 Nov 2015. 
  4. ^ "ŞENGAL - Barzanî operasyonê dimeşîne (gav bi gav tên nûkirin)". Sputnik News. 12 Nov 2015. Retrieved 13 Nov 2015. 
  5. ^ "YAZIDIS i. GENERAL". Encyclopaedia Iranica. 20 July 2004. Retrieved 13 Nov 2015. The Yazidis’ cultural practices are observably Kurdish, and almost all speak Kurmanji (Northern Kurdish), with the exception of the villages of Baʿšiqa and Baḥzānēin northern Iraq, where Arabic is spoken. Kurmanji is the language of almost all the orally transmitted religious traditions of the Yazidis. 
  6. ^ 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 .
  7. ^ "Iraq: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". World Gazetteer. [dead link]
  8. ^ A short history of Syriac literature. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Isil carried out massacres and mass sexual enslavement of Yazidis, UN confirms". Daily Telegraph. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Iraq's Kurds press offensive against Islamic State in Sinjar". DPA International. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Iraqi Kurds Advance Against Islamic State in Sinjar". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Battle for Sinjar: IS-held town in Iraq 'liberated'". BBC News. 13 November 2015. 
  14. ^ "Mass grave of ‘Yazidi women executed by ISIS’ found in Iraq". AFP. 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.