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Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jul 01, 2021 10:10 pm

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Yazidi woman claims children after adoption

A Yazidi woman and former wife of an Islamic State (ISIS) fighter has claimed parental rights to two children who have been raised by a Syrian family since 2017. The adoptive family, however, has refused to hand over the children without a DNA test

Sana Sheikhmus, 37, and her husband had failed to have a child in 2017 after 11 years of marriage. The Kurdish family from Hasaka province in northeast Syria (Western Kurdistan) decided to adopt two children from an orphanage and were able to bring home two siblings.

“We met with the Women's Board. We were given two siblings. The boy was two years old and the girl was eight months old. They told us the children had no relatives and that they were now our children," the foster mother told Rudaw.

Five years later, a Yazidi woman claims to be the biological mother of the two children who are now aged six and seven. She was the wife of an ISIS fighter.

ISIS attacked Syria and Iraq in 2014, abducting and killing thousands from the ethnic-religious Yazidi people. Nearly half of the abductees have yet to be found. Yazidis have suffered numerous sufferings and massacres for decades.

The alleged biological mother's whereabouts are unknown. When Rudaw visited her father's house in Shingal, he said that the woman had fled the house in a bid to regain the children. He added that he will not tolerate a child born with an ISIS father.

In April 2019, the Yazidi Spiritual Council announced that children born to Yazidi women raped by ISIS captors would not be accepted into the faith.

The alleged biological mother has applied to the Women's Board in Rojava to take back the two children. The adoptive family, however, says they will not hand over the children without a DNA test to confirm the mother's identity.

"After five years, we hear that their mother has shown up and we must hand over the children. We told them they should bring the mother to us so we can do the tests legally," said Sheikhmus.

"They have become a part of me. I have kidnapped them now. I requested [the Board] to give me the mother's phone number to resolve this issue with her," she said. The adoptive family fled to a remote village in Hasaka, bringing the children with them for fear that the government would take them away.

Rudaw reached out to the Women's Board but they declined to comment on the subject.

Rashid Haso, the adoptive grandfather of the children, told Rudaw in tears that they cannot give up the children, adding that they have already set up plans for the future of the children and have spent a lot of money on their upbringing.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeas ... /010720211
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jul 09, 2021 2:12 am

EU should recognize Yazidi Genocide

A few days ago, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Belgian Federal Parliament approved, by majority, a resolution describing the crimes committed by ISIS mercenaries against the Yazidis as “genocide”, in a decision that gives indications mercenaries and their collaborators are held accountable for the crimes they committed in Iraq and Syria, accusing Turkey and its gangs in committing the same crimes

On this subject, ANHA conducted several meetings with members of the Yazidi House in Aleppo, to shed light on their demands and opinions in this regard.

Co-chair of the Yazidi House in Aleppo, Gola Ghazal, thanked the Belgian Parliament for its decision, calling on the European Union as well to follow the same step and recognize the genocide that committed against the Yazidis.

"What happened to Yazidi can only be described as cultural and ethnic annihilation of our society at all levels, and the scenes have documented part of what happened to us in the twenty-first century," she said.

About the enslavement the Yazidi women in Shengal, after ISIS brutal attack, Gola Ghazal said:" the enslavement of the Yazidi women and the murder of fathers in front of their children only demonstrates brutality in the implementation of the absolute obliterating of history and Yazidi civilization to eradicate them starting from the family."

She also noted the foe of the Yazidi is the same, whether in Shengal or Afrin and the rest of the occupied areas, but the names differ, noting that the crimes committed in Shengal by ISIS are being committed in Afrin by Turkey and its mercenaries who are called themselves "Syrian National Army."

As for the member of the Yazidi House, Rania Jaafar, welcomed the decision of the Belgian Parliament, recalling the abhorrent crimes committed against Yazidis in Shengal, particularly, the most notorious crime in Kocho village, which are considered the most horrific, in which its men and children were killed and its women were enslaved."

In this regard, she continued, "The whole world witness to these crimes committed against us, but remain silent. When we say that human rights are where they are from this tragedy that we lived through, the whole of Europe must recognize the genocide that has occurred against us, and so far thousands of mass graves have not been uncovered."

For the crimes committed in Afrin by Turkey and its mercenaries, Rania denounced the destruction of shrines, holy sites and even cemeteries that used to exist in the region for thousands of years, considering Turkey's practices of killing, kidnapping, looting and cultural smelting as war crimes, "The demographic change that the Turkish occupying state had done in Afrin, the construction of mosques in Yazidi villages, the construction of settlements and the destruction of shrines was also a war crime against the people of Yazidi society'', she concluded.

https://hawarnews.com/en/haber/yazidi-w ... 25611.html
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jul 12, 2021 10:43 pm

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ex-ISIS members within military ranks

ISIS fighters are now serving within the security ranks in charge of the Yezidi-majority town of Sinjar, according to a Yezidi commander

The remarks came from Haider Shasho, commander of YezidKhan Defence Forces (YDS), whose forces are now in charge of protecting Yezidi holy shrines in Sinjar.

In an interview with the Kurdistan 24 on Sunday, Shasho warned of the threat of ISIS fighters who carried out the genocide of the Yezidis in 2014.

Shasho said that the threat to Sinjar is not from organizations that commit crimes “in the name of terror,” but from within the security and administrative ranks.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government of Iraq signed an agreement last October to manage administrative and security sectors in the district, which hosts numerous armed entities, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Shia-majority Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

Despite its backing by international actors, including the UN, the agreement has not fulfilled a primary objective, the withdrawal of all foreign militias from the town and handing over of the area’s security to its Yezidi inhabitants.

The KRG regularly calls on the international community to assist in implementing the agreement, which it believes could improve the reconstruction process.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/24 ... -in-Sinjar
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:42 pm

Belgium to recognize Yazidi genocide

Belgium will try to get the Yazidi genocide recognized on a legal scale to make sure the perpetrators are punished, a member of the Belgian parliament told Rudaw

“We are encouraging our foreign ministry to try and recognize this as a genocide legally on the European scale. If the Yazidi genocide is recognized legally, then the perpetrators will be punished, right now neither the International Court of Justice nor any other court has recognized it,” Els Van Hoof, a member of the Belgian Parliament for the Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V) party told Rudaw’s Hemen Abdulla.

Belgium approved a resolution to recognize the Yazidi genocide in late June, joining several countries that have officially recognized it.

The Netherlands parliament also followed and recognized the genocide last week.

Regarding the process, the Belgian representative said that testimonies from many people were taken.

“We had many reports, and we met with experts, witnesses, and victims, the most important testimony was that of Nadia Murad in front of our commission. Apart from that, many professors from America and Belgium spoke to us, and the result was what happened was a genocide, because people were killed systematically, and it was against a specific nation,” she said.

“That is the definition of genocide, we found out that their men were killed, their women were sold as sex slaves, and their children were deceived and used as a fighting force,” she added.

More than 6,000 Yazidis were kidnapped when ISIS attacked their heartland of Shingal in Nineveh province, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Office for Rescuing Kidnapped Yazidis. Over 2,000 remain missing.

Evidence has established that the ISIS crimes committed against the group “truly” constitute genocide, Karim Khan, head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh/ISIS (UNITAD) told the UN in May.

Van Hoof said that with their approach, the hope is that other countries will follow the same way the Netherlands did.

“We have seen before when a member state of the European Union does something like this, other countries will follow,” she said. “We consider this topic very important because when it comes to the violation of human rights, it is not an internal issue of a country, but a global issue.”

https://www.rudaw.net/english/world/140720211
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jul 15, 2021 11:00 pm

Belgian parliament recognizes Yazidi genocide

The Belgian parliament unanimously voted on Thursday to recognize the suffering of the Yazidis at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014 as a genocide. The move also included providing assistance to the ethnoreligious group

The parliament said in a tweet that all 139 members of the legislature who attended the meeting voted for the recognition.

Netherlands recognized the genocide last week. This followed the approval of a resolution by Belgium on June 30.

More than 6,000 Yazidis were kidnapped when ISIS attacked their heartland of Shingal in Nineveh province, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Office for Rescuing Kidnapped Yazidis.

Around 3,000 Yazidis remain missing

    Els Van Hoof, a member of the Belgian Parliament for the Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V) party told Rudaw on Wednesday that “we are encouraging our foreign ministry to try and recognize this as a genocide legally on the European scale.”
“If the Yazidi genocide is recognized legally, then the perpetrators will be punished, right now neither the International Court of Justice nor any other court has recognized it,” she added.

It is not clear what kind of aid Belgium will provide to the Yazidis.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/world/15072021
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:59 pm

Fire damages Yazidi mass grave in Shingal

Twelve Yazidi mass graves have been burned in the past two years, according to Iraq’s Martyrs Foundation Affairs Department and the Protection of Mass Graves in Shingal. The most recent fire was last week

The United Nations is assisting Iraq to investigate the Islamic State (ISIS) genocide against the Yazidis and exhume the mass graves. About 5,000 Yazidis were killed when ISIS seized control of the Shingal area in 2014. According to Iraqi officials, 82 mass graves are still to be exhumed.

Last year, at least 10 mass graves were burned. The sites have also been damaged by heavy rains.

The graves are an open wound for a community trying to heal from genocide.

“These mass graves have been here for seven years. The people are unable to return home because of them. I am one of them,” said Shingal resident Amin Qasim. “Although my house is here, it is hard to return and see the graves near our houses. They should be exhumed.”

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/16072021
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jul 16, 2021 11:40 pm

Turkish Intervention in Sinjar

In February, indications of an incoming Turkish military operation targeting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Sinjar, northern Iraq led to a flurry of Iranian-backed militia activity targeting Turkey. Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), one of the most prominent Iranian-aligned militias in Iraq, hinted that the focus of his group’s activities could switch to Turkey instead of the United States (Rudaw, March 4). Al-Khazali even urged the Iraqi government to consider cooperating with the United States militarily to counter Turkey (al-Etejah, March 30).

Despite the Iranian-backed militia threats toward Turkey, Turkish military operations in northern Iraq expanded in June to include Makhmour, a refugee camp that Turkey claims is an incubator for PKK militancy, and is roughly 180 kilometers south of the Turkish border (Rudaw, June 7). Now that Turkey is once again striking deeper into Iraqi territory, the question remains—how will Iranian-backed militias respond?

Turkish Military Expansion into Iraqi Kurdistan

Turkish military activity targeting the PKK in Iraqi Kurdistan is nothing new. Turkey has launched multiple military incursions in the territory since the 1990s aimed at reducing PKK cross-border capabilities (Terrorism Monitor, May 7). In recent years, Turkey has intensified its military operations and increased the number of military checkpoints and bases in the country (Rudaw, June 7, 2020). Such activities have largely been focused on the mountainous border region and around the Qandil Mountains near the Iraqi-Iranian border, where the PKK has based its headquarters since 1998.

The PKK and PKK-affiliated militants also maintain a presence further south in Iraqi territory, including in the aforementioned Sinjar (Nineveh Governorate) and Makhmour (Erbil governorate) areas. Both of these territories are the subject of disputes between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi federal government. [2] Sinjar, in particular, is of strategic importance to the PKK due to its proximity to Syria, which allows the PKK to link with the affiliated People’s Protection Units (YPG) Kurdish militant group in Syria.

Sinjar’s PKK and PMU Alliance

Sinjar, a historically Yazidi region, came under the control of the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014. A coalition of Kurdish forces, including the PKK, liberated the territory from ISIS in 2015, with assistance from Iranian-backed militias embedded within the state-sponsored security organization known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) (Terrorism Monitor, December 17, 2020). The 2017 expulsion of KRG forces from Sinjar, ordered by pro-Iranian former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, left the PKK and PMU in control of the territory. This brought the PKK into an alliance with the PMU, with several PKK-affiliated groups such as the Sinjar Resistance Units (YPS) officially joining the PMU by 2019.

Current Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who has been keen to diminish the influence of the Iranian-aligned PMU militias, entered into the “Sinjar Agreement” with the KRG to reestablish formal Iraqi government control in Sinjar in October 2020 (al-Hurra, October 9, 2020; Terrorism Monitor, December 17, 2020). The goal is to regain control over the territory by removing the PKK, while simultaneously preventing Turkey from using Sinjar as a reason to expand its military presence deeper into Iraq.

Iranian-Backed Militias’ Reaction to Turkey’s Sinjar Threats

The Sinjar Agreement initially had Turkish backing. However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reportedly became frustrated by the agreement’s perceived lack of progress, and threatened to launch a joint Turkish-Iraqi military operation in Sinjar in January (Middle East Monitor, January 23). The subsequent killing of 13 Turkish citizens who were kidnapped by the PKK in the Gare region of Iraqi Kurdistan led Erdoğan to renew threats against the PKK in Sinjar in February (al-Monitor, February 17).

Following increased Turkish threats of escalation in Sinjar, the Iranian-backed militias of the PMU responded uniformly to deter Turkey. Three PMU brigades were sent to Sinjar to bolster the already sizeable PMU presence in the area (Shafaq, February 14). Prominent militias, including AAH, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, and the Badr Organization, all threatened Turkey with military action if Turkey launched any major operation in Sinjar (Al-Nahar, February 14). AAH’s al-Khazali, in an attempt to turn public opinion against Turkey, went on Iraqi television claiming that Turkey represented more of a threat to Iraq than the United States (al-Etejah, March 30). Al-Khazali further stated that he would personally take up arms if Turkey were to follow through with what he described as “neo-Ottoman desires” to occupy and annex parts of Iraq. Most notable of all, a PMU militia is highly likely to have been behind the April 14 rocket attack on the Bashiqa Turkish military base in northern Iraq that killed one Turkish soldier (Rudaw, April 15; Militant Leadership Monitor, June 4). [4]

Successful Deterrence?

The Iranian-backed PMU militia’s show of force appears to have at least temporarily deterred a major Turkish military operation in Sinjar. Since Erdoğan’s Sinjar threats, the Turkish military launched Operation Claw-Lightning, which focused on the usual PKK targets in the Metina, Avashin, and Basyan areas near the Turkish border (Middle East Eye, April 24). While the Turkish military also launched an airstrike on a refugee camp in Makhmour on June 5, no significant Turkish military action occurred in Sinjar.

With the PMU highlighting its readiness to attack Turkish forces, Turkish reluctance to internationalize its conflict with the PKK was made apparent. Ankara argues that the PKK should continue to be seen as a domestic issue only, despite its presence outside of Turkey and its links to the PMU. This was particularly clear after the Bashiqa attack. Despite the loss of Turkish lives, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu refused to directly blame the PMU despite their obvious links to the attack. Instead, Çavuşoğlu preferred to refer to the perpetrators as militias that support the PKK (Anadolu Agency, April 20).

Risks for Erdoğan

While Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) strong rhetoric and action against the PKK may resonate with a domestic audience, risking Turkish lives fighting Iraqi militias could quickly become quite unpopular. This would particularly be the case given the considerable international backlash that would likely follow any attack on Sinjar, since it would threaten to reignite conflict in a region that had only recently suffered genocide and brutal conflict with ISIS.

While Turkish military superiority could overwhelm the PKK-affiliated militias, even with the support of the PMU, the conflict would also risk jeopardizing Turkey’s important economic relations with Iraq and Iran. Iraq is highly likely to condemn Turkish unilateral military operations in Sinjar and is equally too constrained by domestic politics to participate in a joint Turkish military operation. Turkish action in Sinjar would then risk its important economic relations with Iraq and the KRG, which include a set target of $20 billion in bilateral trade (Anadolu Agency, December 17, 2020). Likewise, Turkey is reluctant to risk its economic links to Iran by attacking Iranian-backed militias, which play a key role in Iran’s Iraq foreign policy, although due to U.S. sanctions bilateral trade with Iran has decreased.

Turkey’s Inadvertent Justification for Iran’s Militias in Iraq

Sinjar is important for the Iranian-backed militias for two reasons. The first is to maintain PMU influence over Sinjar, which provides a crossing point into Syria. While the PMU already controls border crossings in al-Qaim and al-Anbar, the diversification of routes into Syria further minimizes the risk posed to militia access to the country. Access to the Sinjar Mountains is also significant because it provides militia groups scope to attack Israel, with Iraq previously firing Scud missiles toward Israel from the Sinjar Mountains in 1991 (al-Monitor, November 13, 2017).

Secondly, initiating hostilities with Turkey provides renewed justification for the continued existence of pro-Iranian militias in Iraq. These militias have defended their privileged position in Iraq, where they are embedded within the state but operate independently, by claiming that their presence is necessitated by the alleged U.S. military occupation of Iraq. The continued U.S. withdrawal from the region has meant that these groups will eventually no longer be able to resort to the U.S. military presence as justification for their continued use of arms unsanctioned by the state. By inflaming the crisis with Turkey, these groups hope to find the same domestic credibility that they had when they were fighting to push U.S. forces out of Iraq. With the Iraqi general elections planned for October, in which many of the political wings of these militias will compete, switching the focus of the militia narrative to fighting to defend Iraqi sovereignty against Turkish encroachment could be a clever move.

Turkish Occupation?

Such a strategic and rhetorical shift of the Iranian-backed militia narrative from the U.S. to the Turkish military presence in Iraq would not be straightforward. The pro-Iranian militia support base is largely limited to the Shia-majority central and southern regions of Iraq, which lack significant cultural links to the ethnically and religiously diverse disputed northern Iraqi territories and the Sunni Iraqi Kurdistan autonomous region. Without Turkey directly attacking Shia militia interests, its largely Shia support base is unlikely to consider Turkish military activity as relevant. This would especially be the case if Turkey limits its military activity to the mountainous border regions in Iraqi Kurdistan with only the occasional airstrike or drone attack on Sinjar or Makhmour.

The pro-Iranian militia support base, therefore, requires a more dramatic confrontation between the Iranian-backed militias and the Turkish military for the Turkish occupation of northern Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan to appear relevant. However, Iran’s own strategic interests with Kurdish militant groups mitigates the possibility of significant military conflict with Turkey. Iran has no real ideological alignment with the PKK or other Kurdish militant groups. In fact, Iran suppresses Kurdish autonomy movements in northwestern Iran. If pro-Iranian militias were to force a withdrawal of the Turkish military from northern Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, then it would free up PKK capability in the country to focus on other targets. This is a prospect that Iran would be keen to avoid. In particular, it could lead to the formation of a Kurdish crescent linking Kurdish militants in Syria to Iraq and through to Iran’s own domestic Kurdish militant group—the Kurdistan Free Life Party (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistanê—PJAK).

This has meant that while pro-Iranian militias may seek to increase anti-Turkish rhetoric, Iran is likely to give the green light to the militias to launch significant military activity against Turkey only in areas where Iran’s interests are directly affected, such as Sinjar. Likewise, Turkey, despite its bellicose rhetoric, is equally reluctant to intensify military operations outside of its usual Iraqi Kurdistan targets. This limits the capability of the pro-Iranian militias to act on their anti-Turkish rhetoric with the result that its anti-Turkish narrative risks being exposed as lacking relevance to its own support base.

https://jamestown.org/program/iranian-b ... in-sinjar/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:28 pm

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ISIS explosives still a risk in Shingal

Explosive planted by the Islamic State group (ISIS) in villages and towns in the Shingal area continue to take lives. An aid organization is working to raise awareness about the danger of mines, especially among children

Basim Barakat, 16, was injured by an exploding landmine that killed his father, brother, and uncle. “My feet hurt so much that I can’t sleep at night,” he said.

Two years ago, Na'am Ismail returned to her village Borek, nine kilometres north of Mount Shingal. Two months after they moved home, an explosive left behind by ISIS blew up, killing her 15-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter and damaging their house.

“When I think about my children, it is the hardest thing in my life,” said Ismail. “Nothing is left. My children who used to play here are now dead.”

According to local officials, 12 people who returned to their homes have been killed and 24 injured by ISIS explosives. Iraqi security forces in Gir Ozer estimate there are nearly 1,000 mines still in the town and its surroundings.

A humanitarian organization called Geneva Call has started training courses with international NGOs. They want to raise awareness about mines among the children in Shingal and plan to clear ISIS landmines. “It’s important to talk about this in the schools,” said Vance Culbert, head of the Near and Middle East Region for Geneva Call.

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https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/170720211
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:16 pm

Yazidis struggle to rebuild their lives

Hari Sreenivasan:

Seven years ago, a brutal attack by the Islamic State forced close to 100,000 Yazidis to flee from their homes in northern Iraq to nearby Mount Sinjar, where they were trapped for days. Those unable to flee were imprisoned, sold into slavery or killed.

In March, the Iraqi parliament passed a landmark Yazidi survivors law recognizing crimes against the community as genocide and mandating compensation and assistance for Yazidi women survivors. But for many survivors, trust in the government is low and the future remains uncertain.

NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Leila Molana-Allen returned to the Sinjar region, now deemed safe, to talk with the survivors.

Leila Molana-Allen:

Seven years ago, an ancient people ran in their thousands up a mountain that had sustained their lifeblood for centuries. For those who came down again, their lives would never be the same.

Mount Sinjar, Shingal to Yazidis, and the area around it, was ravaged, destroyed by those they were fleeing, the advancing insurgents of the Islamic State.

Hundreds of thousands of Yazidis were displaced, captured or killed by ISIS. Of around 12,000 who went missing, at least 5,000 have been identified as being killed, and several thousand more have been rescued since ISIS lost its territorial hold in 2017. The rest are still unaccounted for.

Today, while ISIS no longer holds territory here, little else has changed. The town and its surrounding villages still lie in pieces. While some have begun to return since it was deemed safe last summer, many thousands still live in camps and tented settlements across North Iraq.

Leila Molana-Allen:

The landscape is dotted with sites like these; fenced off known mass graves. You could once see human remains on the surface here but now, the grasses have grown long and rains have washed away the evidence. But for the families of the thousands of people still missing, they know many of their loved ones lie under the ground here. They've been waiting nearly seven years for answers, and most of them are still waiting.

Locals estimate there are up to 80 mass graves in the Sinjar area. There are five here in the tiny village of Hardan alone, which they think contain the bodies of 150 people.

The exhumations have begun, and more than 100 bodies have now been identified and buried. It's an agonizingly slow process, but many here feel it hasn't been prioritized.

Shokor Melhem:

It's governmental negligence. It's international negligence. An entire nation massacred, displaced. For facilitating their return, the government does not care, especially when it comes to those displaced; it's not politically stable.

Leila Molana-Allen:

Shokor Melhem is an Iraqi army officer, and a Yazidi himself, who has tracked the status of the mass graves since he and his unit began to discover them while pushing ISIS out of the area. His youngest daughter, who's seven, is called Shingal. She was born on the mountain in August 2014 as her pregnant mother and sisters ran for their lives. Shukur says it is impossible for Yazidis to begin to rebuild their lives here until they know the fate of their loved ones for certain.

Shokor Melhem:

Folks still don't know whether their kids, their children are still alive, dead, or buried somewhere, maybe still in captivity….It's no surprise that people are agonized and feel like this matter is being forsaken. When most people die, they only die once. For those whose families are in mass graves or kidnapped, they died a hundred times a day.

Leila Molana-Allen:

Khalil Murad Mchu and his family are doing their best to rebuild their life here. But they don't have much to work with. As with most of the homes in this area, ISIS flattened it with dynamite. Not much has changed since.

This was Kahlil's family house, it still stands here destroyed. They were living in a camp until nine months ago, and they've come back because they do still have some farmland here, but he and his children are living in tents and don't see any sign that their home will be rebuilt.

Khalil Murad Mchu:

It's really hard to live in a tent and to see your house in ruins, what we really are afraid of are snakes and scorpions under these collapsed houses.

Leila Molana-Allen:

They came home because they could no longer survive in a camp with no way to work. But things aren't much better here, and every day is a struggle. With the security restrictions intense and so little reconstruction, the economy here has collapsed and they live on the pennies they scrape together selling eggs and goat milk to the few neighbors who have dared to return.

Khalil Murad Mchu:

I have no future here. We can't get our old life back again. It's really hard to make a home here.

And it's not just the money. Even as Sinjar has been left a wreck, it's become a political hotspot, with multiple factions vying for power here. For a community that's deeply traumatized, living in the midst of a military zone does little to make them feel safe.

Leila Molana-Allen:

Iraqi and Kurdish forces roam the area, as do different arms of the local Shia militias known as the Hashd Shabi, or popular mobilization forces. Fighters from the PKK, the Kurdish resistance group outlawed by Turkey, hide amidst the mountains and the Turkish military launches sporadic strikes against them.

A recent survey carried out by the U.S. Institute of Peace found that 53 percent of Sinjar's residents (all of them returned from displacement) don't feel safe in the area, and 96 percent believe they are at risk of violence.

The alternatives aren't much better. Nearly 200,000 Yazidis are still displaced across North Iraq, many of them living in camps or basic rented accommodation.

Camps like this one at Sharya near the Kurdish town of Duhok, where Yazidi survivor Laila Taalo and her family once took refuge, and where thousands of displaced Yazidis still live.

Leila Molana-Allen:

This is the same spot where I first met Laila and her family living in one of these tents behind me. This is an overflow section from the main camp because that was already full. They hoped it would be temporary and they could soon go home. But four years later, little has changed except that even more people are living here.

Laila's family lost 19 members when ISIS attacked. Her uncle Khalid then spent years trying to find them and bring them back.

I met Laila just after she and her two nieces, Shaima and Suheila, had been rescued after years of being bought and sold as slaves by ISIS supporters across Iraq and Syria.

At just 25, Laila had lost her husband. He's still missing, presumed murdered by ISIS. But she managed to rescue her five-year old son from the training camp ISIS had taken him to, and bring him and her infant daughter home safe when she finally escaped and found a smuggler to get her out of ISIS-occupied Raqqa. When she spoke of going home, her eyes lit up with hope.

Laila Taalo:

Nowhere is like Shingal. I don't feel a stranger to other places in Iraq, but Shingal belongs to us.

Leila Molana-Allen:

Even so, she feared the trauma of further violence would stop them going back.

Laila Taalo:

Honestly, it is very hard, Yazidis are so afraid. I don't see any future for Yazidis here. It's hard to live there again, my eyes can't bear to see it. I don't have any future for myself, the only hope I have is my children.

Leila Molana-Allen:

In the years since, Laila has become a leading activist for Yazidi survivors' rights and recognition of the attack as a genocide against her people. This Spring, she was part of the team that pushed through the Yazidi reparations bill in the Iraqi parliament, which promises a stipend, land, and increased job opportunities to survivors.

Despite their landmark success, Laila says she and her people have been let down time and again by the government and the international community; now, she'll believe it when she sees it.

Laila Taalo:

When I go to conferences, I talk and they listen, they feel for us and some of them cry. The problem is they make promises to us but they do nothing. That's very difficult for us.

Leila Molana-Allen:

Laila has little faith that the promise to secure and rebuild Sinjar will come through either. Her nieces, Shaima and Suheila have already left, taking up asylum in Australia. Laila says she's giving up, and wants to go and join them.

Laila Taalo:

We want to live a normal life, this is not a huge request, I just want information about our missing people and to rebuild Shingal. It has been 7 years we are still living in camps, until when will this last? How long will we be displaced in our homeland?

Leila Molana-Allen:

Thousands of Yazidis have already left Iraq. Without the option of going home, a historic community of half a million people is in danger of being lost for good.

Laila Taalo:

It's true that the Yazidi community is being split because we as victims, we don't have the trust to go back to Shingal. That's why we get out of this country, because we are mentally destroyed. I'd rather live in another country because I don't want my children to see what I saw, so that the next generation doesn't get hurt. On the inside it's so sad, I can't forget what I've been through.

Leila Molana-Allen:

Armed groups, scarce job opportunities and the lack of reconstruction have turned the homecoming to Shingal from a dream to a nightmare. Many who have come back are already thinking about leaving again. This land, scarred so deeply and its people scattered, may soon become a lonely place to call home.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/i-hav ... is-retreat
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jul 24, 2021 12:10 pm

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Germany’s Merkel voices support for Kurds, Yazidis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said Kurds and Yazidis deserve her country’s support during her annual summer press conference held in Berlin

“We have always tried to support the Yazidi people and the Kurdish people who are under threat. We will continue to do that in parliament as well,” Merkel told Rudaw’s Alla Shally through an online portal, noting that to her “helping them is important.”

She didn’t comment on the parliament’s future plans in supporting the Kurds and Yazidis.

Merkel has been serving as chancellor of Germany for 16 years.

In 2014 and when Islamic State (ISIS) group attacked Iraq, Germany assisted in training and equipping the Peshmerga forces enabling the fight against the group while seeking to prevent the genocide against the Yazidis.

ISIS swept across Iraq and Syria in the summer of 2014. Minority groups especially suffered under the terror group's rule, including Yazidis, Shabaks, and Christians. The group was territorially defeated in Iraq in December 2017.

More than 6,000 Yazidis were kidnapped when ISIS attacked their heartland of Shingal in Nineveh province, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Office for Rescuing Kidnapped Yazidis. Over 2,000 remain missing.

Evidence has established that the ISIS crimes committed against the group “truly” constitute genocide, Karim Khan, head of the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh/ISIL (UNITAD) told the UN in May.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/world/22072021
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jul 25, 2021 2:48 am

ISIS widow sentenced over Yazidi slaves

A court in Hamburg has sentenced the widow of an "Islamic State" terrorist to extra jail time. The woman admitted to using enslaved Yazidi girls to clean her home

A German court on Thursday sentenced the woman, Omaima A., to additional jail time for using slave women to clean her home.

The 37-year-old, already convicted of belonging to the "Islamic State" (ISIS) militant group, had already admitted the offense, the DPA news agency reported.

The court confirmed to DW that a previous sentence of three and a half years would be extended to four years in total.

The defendant told the court that, at the beginning of 2016, she had two Yazidi slave girls clean her living quarters. Omaima A., the widow of former rapper and ISIS fighter Denis Cuspert, said she got in contact with the girls through a friend but admitted it was clear to her they were there against their will.

"I showed the place to the two slave girls and told them which areas they should clean," she said at the time. ISIS widow apologized to two enslaved women

The German-Tunisian woman, who was born in Hamburg, distanced herself from ISIS and said she regretted her misconduct. She had apologized to the two women, one of whom was a plaintiff in the trial.

The woman had already been convicted of aiding and abetting slavery for keeping watch over another enslaved Yazidi girl, a 13-year-old, for several hours.

The admission of guilt to aiding and abetting slavery was by agreement earlier in the process. The Hamburg prosecutor general's office had demanded a prison sentence of two years. However, taking her initial sentence into account, the prosecution and defense agreed to a plea bargain with a total sentence of four years.

Yazidis killed, enslaved by Islamic State

Syria and Iraq's Yazidi minorities were subjected to mass killings, abductions, and sexual slavery at the hands of ISIS. The ethnic group follows a religion that includes elements of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The ultra-conservative Islamic militants consider them to be subhuman devil worshipers.

In October last year, a Hamburg court sentenced Omaima A. to jail for membership in a terrorist organization abroad. She was also found guilty of neglecting her duties as a parent and possessing illegal firearms, as well as aiding and abetting slavery.

Incriminated by old cellphone

Omaima A. is believed to have traveled to Syria with her three small children in 2015 to join ISIS.

Her former husband Cuspert, who used the name Deso Dogg during his rap career, is believed to have died in Kobane in 2018.

The woman was arrested after rumors of her presence in Germany spread when a cellphone purportedly belonging to her was discovered by a war reporter in Syria.

It was unclear how Omaima A. lost her phone or whether she deliberately left it behind when she decided to return to Germany, but it was said to contain some 36 gigabytes of data documenting her life with ISIS.

https://www.dw.com/en/german-court-sent ... a-58586262
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:15 pm

KRG to formally recognize ISIS crimes

The Kurdistan Region is working towards the recognition of the crimes committed by the Islamic State group (ISIS), almost seven years after the group attacked Iraq in 2014, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) spokesperson said on Monday

The KRG, in cooperation with the Iraqi federal government and the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh (UNITAD) is working towards reaching the goal of recognizing ISIS crimes committed against the people of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, Jotiar Adil said in a press conference.

It is focusing specifically on crimes against minority groups “and more specifically the crimes committed in Shingal,” he added, referring to the Yazidi heartland in Nineveh province.

ISIS-controlled swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014, displacing millions of people and subjecting many more to their brutal reign. They also killed and abducted thousands, especially members of the ethnoreligious Yazidi community.

The goal of the KRG is “to bring back the rights of the people and to recognize the crimes committed by Daesh [ISIS] as genocide,” Adil said.

More than 6,000 Yazidis were kidnapped when ISIS attacked their heartland of Shingal in Nineveh province, according to the KRG Office for Rescuing Kidnapped Yazidis.

    Around,3000 remain missing
The Netherlands and Belgium recognized the ISIS genocide against the Yazidis in early July, joining several countries that have officially recognized it.

Evidence has established that the ISIS crimes committed against the group “truly” constitute genocide, Karim Khan, head of the UNITAD told the UN in May.

Last month, Iraq’s Supreme Court rejected calls to establish a criminal court to try ISIS suspects in Erbil.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/260720212
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:34 pm

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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Aug 03, 2021 3:21 am

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Yazidis criticise government inaction

Yazidis have criticised the Iraqi government for failing to implement pledges made to the community as it prepares to mark seven years since the Islamic State (ISIS) launched a genocide against the ethnoreligious group

Numerous online commemorations and panels were held on Monday, the eve of the anniversary, with Yazidis in Iraq and the diaspora, human rights activists, lawyers and diplomatic officials weighing in on the challenges faced by the small community.

“No serious action has been taken by the government to resolve the situation of Yazidis,” said Hewan Omar, country director for the Free Yezidi Foundation (FRF), in a conference held by the organisation.

Numerous Yazidi IDPs spoke of harsh life in camps, and poor services and security preventing them from returning home to Shingal, known as Sinjar in Arabic, the Yazidi heartland which lies near the Syrian border in Nineveh province.

“We want to go back to Shingal after it is rebuilt and services are provided,” said Suaad, a social worker with FYF, calling for the district to be protected by international community.

The minority group suffered particularly brutal treatment under ISIS, in what has been recognised by many states as genocide. More than 6,000 Yazidis were kidnapped by the terror group, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and upwards of 2,000 still remain missing.Thousands were summarily killed and hundreds of thousands displaced, mostly to the Kurdistan Region’s IDP camps.

In October, the KRG and federal Iraqi government signed an agreement on governance and security in the disputed district.

The deal “ends the authority of intruding groups and paves the way for the reconstruction of the city and the full return of its people,” a spokesperson for the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi tweeted at the time.

In a pre-recorded message as part of a conference hosted by Yazda, Kadhimi pledged to visit Shingal “soon” and said more will be done for the community, acknowledging that the October agreement “is not enough.”

“We are committed to finding solutions that work for all sides without being forced upon the inhabitants of Sinjar,” he said, saying Iraqi ministries and institutions must coordinate to work on the issue.

“We all know that all areas in Iraq require reconstruction but Sinjar is special. Terrorists wanted to destroy it physically, culturally, and destroy its people. Therefore it requires our special attention taking into consideration the pains and wounds of its inhabitants,” the PM added.

Although Shingal was liberated in 2015, much of the area still lies in ruins. Other parts of the district have scarce facilities, including hospitals and schools.

    Armed groups vying for control of the strategic area has also been cited as a factor preventing Yazidis from returning home
Panelists also addressed the Yazidi Survivors Law, a historic law passed in March which allocates jobs, land and financial support to survivors of ISIS brutality. However, the Iraqi government has been criticised for a lack of real action to implement the law.

“To enforce the law with no desire, the legislation, implementation and actions taken fall short of our expectations, said Sozan Safar, head of the Dak Organisation, in a FYF panel on Monday.

The Iraqi government has allocated no funds to implement the law, she said, adding that “the execution delay impacts survivors and their families, making them feel disappointed.”

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/020820211
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:11 pm

Shingal should be a governorate

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani said he supports making the Shingal region its own province, a move that would give the area more control over its affairs

“We reiterate our full support for Shingal to turn into a governorate and we will continue to cooperate with Iraq’s Federal Government on this important subject,” read a statement from Barzani on the seventh anniversary of the genocide committed by the Islamic State group (ISIS) against Yazidis.

    On 3 August, 2014 - 7 years ago today - ISIS militants took over the district of Shingal, committing genocide against the Yazidi minority
Thousands fled their homes as the militants systematically killed men and older women, and enslaved younger women and children. In the first days of the genocide, 1,293 people were killed and 6,417 people were abducted. Today, around 3,000 people are still missing, according to statistics from the NGO Joint Help for Kurdistan.

Thousands of Yazidis are still living in camps, unable to return to their homes because of lack of reconstruction, services, and security.

In March, the Iraqi parliament passed a survivor bill that offers reparations for women who suffered under ISIS. The law applies to Yazidis and other ethnic and religious minorities.

Barzani urged the Iraqi government to implement the bill that guarantees employment opportunities by allocating them two percent of public sector jobs, along with a fixed salary and land.

“Our Yazidi sisters and brothers faced unimaginable cruelty at the hands of ISIS terrorists seven years ago. They rightly expect all of us to help them resolve their difficulties, heal their wounds and live in peace and harmony,” said Barzani.

Government officials and diplomats are publishing statements in commemoration.

“It is our duty to do justice to the victims and compensate them. And we must urgently assist the displaced to return and rebuild Shingal,” said Iraqi President Barham Salih.

“These heinous acts committed by ISIL [ISIS] may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Full accountability for their perpetrators remains essential,” stated Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who also urged “swift and full implementation” of the survivors law.

“We stand in solidarity with the Yazidi community to honor the victims of the massacre & support the survivors in their path to recovery & their fight for justice,” stated the global military coalition against ISIS.

“The UK reaffirms its support to all victims and survivors of Daesh [ISIS] atrocities,” read a statement from the British embassy in Baghdad.

Germany “supports many activities of Yazidis to overcome trauma & to rebuild their lives in security & dignity,” tweeted the German consulate in Erbil.

US Consul General Robert Palladino visited the holy Yazidi temple of Lalish, where he lit a candle. “We are here at this sacred site to honour the victims of the horrific genocide that took place seven years ago,” he said, adding that the US working to support Yazidis, including donating $1 million to preserve Lalish temple.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/030820211
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