This place was once called Kalebadre, or Castle of Badre, named after a structure that locals say once adorned the rocky hill’s ridge.
But in April 1987, during its Anfal campaign against the Kurds, the Iraqi army arrived in Kalebadre and told residents they had to pack up and leave. The village’s inhabitants had been providing supplies and shelter to Kurdish insurgents hiding out in the hills. The army had shelled the village from time to time, sending residents running for the shallow natural caves behind their homes, but the Iraqis wanted to solve the problem for good. Troops moved in with bulldozers and forced the residents of Kalebadre and several other nearby villages to move to the center of the valley, away from the hills, where they could be watched and controlled more easily in a town laid out in a neat grid pattern.
Kalebadre ceased to exist.
“We did not enjoy life at all. It was all suffering,” said 75-year-old Farha Hasso, who lived in the destroyed village.
Today, Shariya — as the town in the center of the valley is called — is a safe place for Yazidis, well within the jurisdiction of northern Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government. But the town is still bearing witness to the saga of the Yazidis’ persecution as refugees stream in from Syria. Wood 2013
|Wood, 2013||Wood, 2013. Al Jazeera. aljazeera.com|