nsnbc : Figures released by Iraqi – Kurdish officials on Sunday, show that good and well half of the Yazidis kidnapped by the Islamic State after KDP Peshmerga, in 2014, fled from ISIS without a fight, are still missing.

(archive photo)

Disaster struck Iraq’s Yazidi community when the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (a.k.a. IS, ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh), on Agust 3, 2014, captured most parts of Iraq’s northwestern Sinjar district.

Sinjar, the home to around 400,000 Yazidis was overrun, resulting in mass executions of the so-called “devil worshippers” by Daesh, in rape, kidnapping, enslavement and disappearances while Peshmerga fighters, most of them under the command of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and President Masoud Barzani.

In August 2014 Yazidi survivors stressed that Yazidi communities begged the withdrawing KDP Peshmerga to leave them their weapons so they could defend themselves against the Islamic State militants. The Peshmerga refused, withdrew, and the Sinjar district was sacked by Daesh.

Many Yazidis lost faith in President Masoud Barzani and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Peshmerga forces under KDP / Masoud Barzani command have since them been criticized for having failed the Yazidis while the Turkish Kurdistan Worker’s Party and the Syrian PYD and its armed wings, the YPG / YPJ are widely perceived as the saviors of the Yazidi survivors.

Yezidi YJS fighters return to Shingal_Iraq_Oct 2017_1  - Yezidi YJS fighters return to Shingal Iraq Oct 2017 1 300x151 - Half of Iraq’s Yazidis kidnapped by Islamic State are still missing

It was in collaboration with the PKK and PYD and the all-female YPJ, that the Yazidi Shengal Women’s Units (YJS), who fought alongside the U.S.-backed , PYD / YPG dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to liberate Raqqa. Yazidis and many Kurds are asking how and why the KDP did nothing to stop Turkey targeting the PKK on the territory of the Kurdistan Autonomous Republic (KAR).

The Islamic State has been dislodged from almost all of northern Iraq. The independence referendum earlier this year is no longer dominating the headlines. A growing number of Yazidis as well as Kurds returned to questions such as “Why did the KDP Peshmerga desert the Yazidis in Sinjar”, and “Why didn’t they at least leave the Yazidi communities weapons to defend themselves with”, and “When will the KDP and the Barzani clan come clean about the alleged sale of stolen Syrian oil, involving networks within the KDP and the Barzani family, the Islamic State, and networks around Turkey’s now President R. Tayyip Erdogan.

Yazidi Yezidi refugee camp_Iraq_YAZADA  - Yazidi Yezidi refugee camp Iraq YAZADA 300x162 - Half of Iraq’s Yazidis kidnapped by Islamic State are still missingThousands of Yazidi and Kurdish families were displaced and fled to Mount Sinjar where they were trapped and suffered unspeakable atrocities including lack of drinking water and food, exposure to the elements, killings, as well as the abduction, rape and enslavement of thousands of Yazidi women. According to Iraqi officials a total number of 7,000 Yazidi women, children and girls were abducted.

Iraqi Kurdish fighters, PKK fighters and Syrian Kurdish YPG forces backed by the US-led coalition against IS captured Sinjar from the jihadists in November 2015 before Iraqi security forces took control of the region in October 2017. A top official with the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region of northern Iraq said that some 6,417 Yazidis were abducted by the jihadists from August 3, 2014.

Up until December 1, 2017, only 3,207 of them have been rescued or managed to flee their captors, said Khairi Bozani. The remaining 3,210 Yazidis, including 1,507 women or girls, were still either held by the jihadists or considered missing, he told the press. The ministry has been following up on the case and its figures show that 2,525 Yazidi children are now orphans while the parents of 220 others were still unaccounted for. According to Bozani 47 mass graves containing the remains of Yazidis have been found since 2014.

Yazidi_Iraq_georgia_NEO  - Yazidi Iraq georgia NEO - Half of Iraq’s Yazidis kidnapped by Islamic State are still missingIn March 2016 mayor of Sinjar (Shingal) said that dozens of the Kurdish Yazidi girls who were kidnapped by Islamic State militants in August 2014, have been relocated to other countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Chechnya. The United Nations has called the massacres of Yazidis a genocide, arguing that Islamic State had planned them and then intentionally separated men from women to prevent Yazidi children from being born.

Yazidis believe in one God who created the world and entrusted it to seven Holy Beings, the most important of which is Melek Taus, or the Peacock Angel. Yazidi religious teachings have traditionally not been written down and have been passed on as an oral tradition that belongs to the world’s oldest practiced religions and mysteries.

Around 550,000 Yazidis lived in Iraq before the massacres but since then 100,000 have left the country while 360,000 have been displaced and live in Iraqi Kurdistan or across the border in Syria.

CH/L – nsnbc 04.12.2017

NSNBC

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