Yerevan, Armenia – Armenia is fighting Yazidi troops on the front line against Azerbaijan, targeting civilian settlements, while operations to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh, the territory of Azerbaijan that has been under Armenian occupation for 30 years, are continuing with determination.
As the fighting continued to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh from the Armenian occupation, a group of Yazidis formed a military unit to join the Armenian front line as a reserve force.
Immediately after the conflicts that began with Azerbaijan on September 27, mobilization was announced in Armenia along with martial law. The new contingent, formed by Yazidis, gathered at a Yazidi temple in the village of Aknalich, outside the Armenian capital Yerevan.
The military unit, which ranges in age from 18 to 55 and consists of 50 soldiers, is led by Rzgan Sarhangyan, who was injured in clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh in the 1990s.
Armenia’s largest minority group
According to the 2011 census, the Yazidis, whose number is between 35,000 and 40,000, are the largest minority in Armenia. Most live in the country’s capital, Yerevan, and in western parts of the country.
The world’s largest Yazidi temple is located in Armenia.
“This is not just a war about the land,” said sashik Sultanyan, director of the Yazidi human rights Center, an Armenian non-governmental organization, claiming that Armenian Yazidis are fighting for their rights and identity.
They fight not to starve
Yazidis are involved in the conflict in the territory of Azerbaijan, which is occupied by Armenia, seeking to create a perception that it is ‘waging a historic war to save their community’.
Many of the Yazidis who have been called to war under the name mobilization are concerned about what has happened. Many of Armenia’s Yazidi villages are grappling with mass migration caused by the country’s economic woes. With the mobilization, large numbers of Yazidis are leaving settlements to fight. This, in turn, qualifies as worrying for the Yazidi population.