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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 » Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:24 pm

If EU can give Erdogan's regime with 485 million euros

Why cannot it help the Yazidis !?!
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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 » Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:23 am

Community garden helps Yazidis heal

Growing fruit and vegetables at a 30-acre urban farm has provided Kamo Zandinen sustenance for her family and a window into her past

Preparing the soil, planting seeds, adding water and fertilizing transfers her mind and and soul back to Sinjar, Iraq, to the days when she cultivated vegetables alongside her husband and seven children.

Two or three times a week during spring and summer, she gardens at the Land of Dreams, a long-gestating initiative launched 11 months ago by the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS).

“Since we have begun to plant on this land in Canada, I feel physically, mentally and emotionally better than before,” says Zandinen through translator Kheirya Khidir, a settlement counsellor for the CCIS.

Profound devastation was inflicted upon Zandinen, her family and the Yazidi people of Sinjar starting on Aug. 3, 2014 when ISIS forces invaded the northern Iraq town in the Nineveh governorate — an area with a long history of being the homeland to Iraq’s minority populations.

    A study published by PLOS Medicine estimated that over the course of a month between 2,000 and 5,500 Yazidis were killed and over 6,000 Yazidis — primarily women and children — were kidnapped. About a half million Yazidis were displaced, many fleeing to the nearby Mount Sinjar
Zandinen and her family were abducted. After about two years in captivity, she was released. Zandinen and three of her children were among 288 Yazidis that the CCIS welcomed to Calgary in 2017. Last year one of her sons was released and immigrated to Canada.

She does not know the status of her husband and two older children. She found out a month ago that her 10-year-old daughter Sonia has been freed, but global travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have prevented mother and daughter from being reunited.

The CCIS offers a wide range of resettlement and integration services to newcomers, including securing accommodations, counselling, employment workshops and work experiences, and helping refugee children integrate into schools. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary is a key partner through its sponsorship program.

Dozens of Canadian newcomers were at the Land of Dreams in the Rocky View County of southeast Calgary on May 28 to plant strawberries, spinach and garlic, and to enjoy fellowship with each other. CCIS CEO Fariborz Birjandian says about 100 people have been farming since the beginning of May.

Birjandian says the decision to coin the area, which currently has 21 circular plots, as the Land of Dreams was a nod to how these newcomer families regard life in Canada.

“Most of the people involved here are Yazidi refugees. They really have gone through hell. They come here with a lot of hope. We want them to see that they are a part of this country, part of this community by having them do something they are familiar with. Everything else they do they are not familiar with.”

Maryam Illyas, another Yazidi woman from Sinjar, who came to Canada in 2017 with her husband, two children and sister, says the Land of Dreams gives families a sense of what life was like in Sinjar before the destruction.

“Before we couldn’t work in the land after we ran from ISIS,” said Illyas through Khidir. “Now, we feel we are in the same village.”

Rod Olsen, a regenerative urban farmer, is overseeing the Land of Dreams. He says he hopes newcomer families — hailing from 16 different countries including Afghanistan, India, Somalia and Syria — could become ecological leaders through this initiative.

“Newcomers who have been displaced can feel like they do not have power or any agency. When they heal the soil, they gain a sense that they’re able to impact Mother Earth in a positive way, I think that it equals us all.

“I think we all as a human species are carrying this sense of ecological grief, and most of us don’t know what to do. We are being given a beautiful opportunity to get right at a core at what we can do and what we need to do. They can become leaders to teach the rest of us Canadians that this is what the land needs right now.”

In addition to refugee families, CCIS is looking to honour local First Nations communities.

Birjandian envisions teepees and sweat lodges being built on the land. The arrangement of the circular soil plots is an homage to the First Nations as it will eventually resemble an Indigenous medicine wheel when four quadrants of eight plots are formed.

Olsen says the work to forge a bond with the First Nations communities is ongoing.

“Elders are super busy with work in their communities. We have this great desire to have them be a part of this, but it is taking time. We want to find an elder who has the time and passion to be involved. It is a big ask. We’re saying, ‘come and educate newcomers and educate urban farmers.’ We assume that it is a good idea for them to do. I think, slowly, the (relationship) is growing.”

There is palpable excitement among the farmers about the new beehives being installed in the coming weeks and the harvest reward to come over the next several months.

The CCIS website states that the 2019 growing season — which operated only from July to September due to heavy spring precipitation — “yielded over 500 pounds of beets, carrots, kale, spinach, collard greens, cabbage, potatoes and more.”

The newcomers take home the food that they plant, and if one of them requests to plant a particular seed, the CCIS tries to honour that wish.

Zandinen remarks that she has enjoyed “planting in Canada with different seeds” than back home. She can look around at her children and friends gardening a plot on The Land of Dreams and to some extent feel she has stepped back in time.

https://grandinmedia.ca/community-garde ... ir-future/
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:53 am

Yazidi minority not out of woods

The ISIS scars among Yazidis are still bleeding six years later, as the majority of these people are scattered in various camps while the fate of others remains unknown

Yazidis facing a new terrorist threat from the northern region of Syria, which makes their future even more uncertain due to the unstable situation in the Middle East and the lack of attention the international community gives Yazidis in the region during times of crisis.

In 2014, the world was shocked to hear that the Yazidis were being subjected to a bloody massacre in the Sinjar region (west of Mosul) at the hands of ISIS militants, who killed about 10,000 Yazidi men before they kidnapped and enslaved 6,000 of their women. The crime moved the international community, but international attention quickly faded away. The Yazidis (or those who remained alive among them) once again alone to face their uncertain destiny.

Vian Dakhil, the only Yazidi Kurd in the Iraqi Parliament, said: “Unfortunately, we are witnessing a decline in international interest and the support of civil society organisations for the Yazidi issue, although there are still more than 80% of Yazidis who have been suffering in camps for almost 6 years, and 3,000 men and women whose fate is still unknown, in addition to many Yazidi children who were kidnapped by the jihadist organisation when they were only three years old and we are not aware of their identity.”

The Yazidi politician warns of the decline of international interest in the fate of the Yazidis, saying it does not only harm the displaced people and those who are still missing but also encourages groups like ISIS to add salt to injury, especially in light of the news coming from Syria.

Since the cross-border military operation conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces and the Syrian Army it backs on Afrin in March 2018, the Yazidis continue to face a systematic campaign forcing them to change their religion. They watched forces kidnap their sons, capture their daughters and destroy their lands and crops.

The same scenario was repeated during the Second Battle of Ras al-Ayn in October 2019.

When the health crisis became the main issue that distracted everyone all around the world, and with the ongoing quarrels between major powers, the campaign against the Yazidis in Afrin doubled in intensity amid fears that this minority would be subjected to a new campaign, as Turkey is tempted to undertake violent demographic re-engineering in the northern Syria region.

Syria’s Yazidi Council spokesperson Adnan Hassan told The Arab Weekly that since the Turkish cross-border military operation in Afrin, 28 Yazidi villages have been evacuated, including a village that has been transformed into a Turkish military base which Syrians cannot visit anymore.

Hassan pointed out that the Syrian Islamist factions in the Afrin region work in ways similar to those of ISIS, in terms of forcing the Yazidis to change their religion. He recalled an incident that occurred about a week ago in the village of Al-Ghazzawiyya in which a girl was kidnapped and her mother was forced to convert to Islam to get her back.

Hassan confirmed numerous cases of women being kidnapped and detained over the last couple of months. He spoke about a woman and her daughter who were taken weeks ago. When the villagers spoke out, the girl was released, while the mother remained in captivity.

Hassan considers what is happening to be part of a systematic plan by Turkey to re-engineer the region demographically by forcing people to leave their homes and obscuring the identity of Yazidis in that area through the demolition of their temples and shrines.

Dakhil said that what is happening in Afrin is another version of what occurred in 2014, during operations led by the same sort of extremism, even if under a different name. She criticised the international community’s silence, saying the world must act quickly to avoid a tragedy similar to the Sinjar massacre. She stressed the need to stop these extremist groups so that the danger does not expand further.

Targeting the Yazidis is the result of political and religious agendas. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan previously described Yazidis as a sect of non-believers. Dakhil believes that Erdogan’s anti-Yazidi stances are not suprising given his ideological background, and efforts to revive the Ottoman Caliphate.

She pointed out that most genocidal campaigns the Yazidis have faced took place during the era that Erdogan seeks to revive. The Yazidis faced about 72 genocidal campaigns, most during the Ottoman era

One of the most horrific campaigns was carried out by Muhammad Pasha, who some historians say collected some 100,000 heads and performed the Adhan (call for prayers) on top of them. Those campaigns aimed to subjugate the Yazidi minority and obscure its religious and ethnic identity.

Although about three quarters of their followers were lost during the period of the Ottoman rule, the Yazidis succeeded in preserving their identity, before facing the blood-soaked turbulence wrought by ISIS and its spinoff groups, some of which are accused of being backed by regional powers such as Turkey.

The Yazidi activist pointed out that the continuous targeting of religious and ethnic minorities threatens the essence of what makes the Middle East such a special and unique part of the world. She sees within the same context the displacement of Iraqi Jews, the suppression of Lebanese Christians and the marginalisation of Kurds and Yazidis in Syria.

She sees the Middle East as based on diversity, it being the home of prophets and the cradle of civilisations.

The Middle East, she says, will not be the same without Kurds, Yazidis, Syriacs, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Jews and Christians, as this mosaic is the secret of the region’s strength and authenticity.
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:48 pm

Yezidi survivor seeks help
to reunite with her family


Thousands of former ISIS captives have reunited their families, but not Faisal. The 16 year old Yezidi girl from the village of Solagh, to the south of Shingal was freed from ISIS captivity in al-Hol camp on April 10. She managed to flee to Duhok, where she now lives with her aunt in Khanke IDP Camp. But still separated from her family, she feels alone

I am a survivor from the hands of ISIS. but I am so sad," Ronya tells Rudaw. "I came here hoping to see my mother and siblings but I couldn’t... I can only see them in pictures," she says.

Ronya's mother and her four siblings migrated to Canada after they escaped from ISIS. It’s been six years since she has seen her family Now, Ronya dreams only of reuniting with them.She is seeking help to get an ID and passport so that she can apply to be reunited with her family in Canada.

"She keeps talking about her mother and siblings. She hasn’t seen them for six years, and she was a child when she was separated from her mother," says Hazar Khelef, Ronya’s aunt, "She wants to see them again — it should not be that difficult."

The al-Hol camp in Syria is home thousands of people captured from ISIS territory, including the wives and family members of imprisoned ISIS suspects.In the ISIS attack on Shingal in 2014, more than six thousand people were kidnapped. The fate of her father remains unknown.

Duhok officials say 3,500 people liberated from ISIS have now reunited their families.

Many, like Ronya however, are still waiting.

"I miss them too much, I want to reunite with them."

https://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/110620201
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:44 pm

Yazidis in Shengal:
We will not let Turkey drive us away


On the night of the June 15, on the anniversary of the "Sayfo" - the genocide of the Syriac people in the Ottoman Empire 105 years ago - Turkey committed another act of aggression

In violation of international law in the sense of its war of expansion and launched an air and ground invasion in the Kurdish autonomous region of northern Iraq, bombing not only suspected positions in the guerrilla-controlled Medya Defense Zones, but also the UN-protected Maxmur refugee camp southwest of Hewlêr (Erbil) and the Yazidi main settlement area Shengal, including Çilmêra, the highest peak of the Shengal mountain range, where an Yezidi refugee camp is located not far away.

Turkish officials reported the bombing of civilian settlement areas as “aimed at neutralizing nests of terror to protect our borders and population". Turkey claims that the attacks are mainly directed against the PKK, but also against other "terrorist groups" in the region. A glance at the map is enough to see, by the way, that neither Shengal nor the Maxmur Camp, which has been subject to a strict embargo at the instigation of the Erdoğan government for just under a year now and is thus cut off from the outside world, is on the border with Turkey.

Return of genocide survivors is made more difficult

"Which so-called terrorist groups are these supposed to be?", Şivan Mûrad from the Yazidi Democracy and Freedom Party (Kurd. Partiya Azadî û Demokrasiyê ya Êzidiyan, PADÊ) wants to know. We spoke with him and his party comrade Elî Brahîm as well as Seydo Elî, member of the Sinûnê People's Council, about the attacks of Turkey on Shengal, which took place only one day after the return of about 150 Yazidis who survived the ISIS attack on Shengal in 2014. The Yazidi community therefore also sees the bombings as part of a Turkish plan to make it more difficult for genocide survivors to return.

"However, Turkey cannot carry out these attacks on its own accord,”says Mûrad and continues: “It is not possible for Turkey to undertake such an undertaking alone. Rather, it is a multilateral political plan approved by international forces, which enables Ankara to penetrate hundreds of kilometres into Iraqi territory.

The Yazidi population is intended to be intimidated by the air strikes so that they abandon their core area in the north-west of the country in line with Turkey's neo-Ottoman expansionist ambitions. Sadly, however, the Yazidis are well versed in this kind of "expulsion policy", as they are not only persecuted by Turkey or the ISIS. It is characteristic of all the "rulers" of the region, who have over the centuries committed at least 74 genocides against the Yazidis.

We are being punished because we do not want to be driven out. But even if only one of us remains, we will resist the aggression and oppression of the Turkish state and its mercenaries. It is our homeland after all."

Self-defence units are recruited from own population

The PKK does not operate either in Maxmur or in Shengal. Both regions are protected by self-defence units created in 2014 in response to the attacks of the ISIS with the support of the Kurdish guerrilla organisations HPG and YJA-Star, after their defense of the population against the ISIS, and recruited from within the population.

Although the jihadist militia was largely defeated militarily in the spring of 2019, the danger posed by the ISIS is far from over; neither in Maxmur, where as recently as February of this year a massive attack attempt by ISIS cells entrenched on Mount Qereçox just behind the refugee camp could only be repulsed thanks to a hasty HPG unit, nor in Shengal, where ISIS attacks are still taking place despite a large-scale joint operation by the Iraqi army, Hashd-al-Shaabi and the Shengal Resistance Units /YJŞ last summer. The last guerrilla units withdrew from Shengal more than two years ago.

Turkey’s attacks continuation of the massacres against Yazidis

"Turkey's attacks on Shengal basically mean nothing more than a continuation of the massacres committed against our people," says Seydo Elî of the Sinûnê autonomous commune. The fact that the Iraqi central government in Baghdad and the KDP-led Kurdish regional government did not condemn Turkey's actions in the strongest possible terms, but instead encouraged the expulsion of the Yazidis by Turkish troops instead of preventing them, is an indictment.

"This ignorance is also an indication that the attacks on us are taking place with the approval of both governments," Elî says and adds: “However, one should not forget that the culture of resistance is part of the historical heritage of the Yazidi people. After all, resistance has a tradition with us, which we will of course keep up during the current attacks in order to survive. We will certainly not leave our homeland."

Yazidis should trust in their own power

The local politician of PADÊ, Elî Brahîm, says that the Turkish state is deliberately trying to manipulate the public perception of the situation in Shengal in order to prevent the return of the Yazidis who fled. This is how the Erdoğan regime wants to legitimize its expulsion policy. "Our people are intended to be scared with the attacks, so to speak. But we Yazidis have changed since the Firman on August 3, 2014, and are no longer the old ones. We have established our self-organisation on the basis of a profound ideology and philosophy. That's why we will resist these attacks alongside our defense units YBŞ/YJŞ."

Just as the "enemies of the Kurdish people" have not succeeded in the past in "wiping out" the Kurdish existence, Erdoğan and his "accomplices" will not succeed in breaking the will of the people, says Brahîm and adds: "Our people should trust in their own power. We have the power to defeat the Turkish state and its collaborators.”

https://anfenglishmobile.com/kurdistan/ ... away-44683
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:05 pm

Yazidis fear Turkish assault

Yazidis fear the ongoing Turkish air strikes on Sinjar and other parts of northern Iraq against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and worry that they could soon by persecuted by the Turkish army

With his hometown Sinjar now being free from the Islamic State (ISIS), Hussein Suleiman Hussein, 26, decided to return with his wife and 5-year-old daughter, he told VOA on the phone from an Iraqi checkpoint, where he had been waiting, along with dozens of other Yazidi families, for hours to get a permit to resettle in their war-torn hometown.

“I am very worried about the Turkish air strikes but what choices do I have, apart from returning?” Hussein told VOA.

On Wednesday, Turkey escalated its offensive by deploying ground troops to northern Iraq against the PKK and affiliated groups. The PKK entered Sinjar in mid-2014 and reportedly opened a safety route for the minority’s civilians fleeing ISIS, VOA said.

On Friday, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, called on Turkey to end its "brutal airstrikes" and ground presence in Sinjar, the Yezidi ethnoreligious community’s stronghold in Iraq.

“USCIRF calls on Turkey to immediately cease its brutal airstrikes in Sinjar, Iraq and to withdraw any ground troops — who represent a dangerous escalation of violence in an already-fragile area," the statement attributed to commission head Gayle Manchin said.

"These actions are particularly threatening to hundreds of traumatized Yazidi families attempting to return to Sinjar and to other civilians in northern Iraq — none of whom deserve to be placed in harm’s way by a NATO ally,” it added.

Turkish air strikes in Sinjar also targeted the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ), a group that was formed in 2017 by mostly young Yazidis with the help of the PKK to defend the pre-Islamic religious minority from ISIS.

Ankara is concerned that the YBŞ could become a future threat to its security as an extension of the PKK.

“Turkey's upped military campaign in northern Iraq has aimed to disrupt PKK mobilisation in the Hakurk and Sinjar regions,” Berkay Mandıracı, a Turkey analyst with the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, told VOA.

“The Hakurk region functions as a logistical transit channel for the PKK into Turkey, whereas the militant group uses the Sinjar region as a transit route between Iraq and Syria,” Mandıracı said, adding, “Ankara aims to disrupt both.”

Some analysts accuse Turkey of previously targeting Yazidis in its military interventions against Kurdish groups in northeast Syria.

“Yazidis in Turkish-occupied Afrin were displaced and forced to renounce their religion. Yazidi shrines and cemeteries were destroyed,” Amy Austin Holmes, a Harvard University professor who has visited and extensively researched northeastern Syria, said during a webinar last week hosted by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Saad Babar, a spokesman for the U.S.-based Yazidi advocacy group Yazda, told VOA that “Yazidis fear that what happened in Afrin and northern Syria would happen again in Sinjar”.

For some, the fear of the Turkish army is rooted in history.

“It's well-known in the history of the Yazidis that the Turkish army has no mercy upon them,” said Khairi Ali, an activist with Ezidi Organization for Documentation, a Sinjar-based group that documents crimes against the Yazidis.

“The history is filled with massacres of our people by the Ottomans," said Ali.

https://ahvalnews.com/yazidis/yazidi-re ... sh-assault
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:58 pm

Yazidis warn of repeat of 2014 genocide

YAZIDI and Kurdish groups have called on the Iraqi government, the United Nations and other international organisations to break their silence over Turkey’s attacks on the Sengal refugee camp in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region

Some 20 organisations have signed yesterday’s declaration calling for urgent action in the light of Ankara’s escalation of hostilities in the region via Operation Claw Eagle, a mission it claims is targeting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Sengal was one of the camps bombed by Turkish war planes last week, with missiles striking 81 targets. There were reports that chemical weapons were used on the UN-administered camp in Maxmur.

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has been approached numerous times by the Morning Star but has not commented on the attacks — despite pleas from desperate officials at the camps.

Officials at Sengal have warned of a repeat of 2014, when as many as 5,000 men and boys were slaughtered at the hands of Isis extremists and at least 7,000 Yazidi women and girls kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery, subjected to torture and rape

The UN has declared the massacre of Yazidis at the hands of the jihadists a genocide. More than 3,000 women and girls remain missing and are believed to be in captivity.

“The army of the Turkish state repeatedly attacks Yazidi villages, murders the inhabitants, burns grain fields or kidnaps young women in order to sell them in the end. The Turkish state is therefore no different from Isis,” the declaration read.

The attacks came as Yazidi families had started to return to the area liberated from ISIS control after the jihadists were defeated by Kurdish forces.

Last week Nobel Prize winner Nadia Murad, who escaped from the clutches of Isis, described Sengal as “a warzone” due to the Turkish aggression.

Kurdish and Yazidi organisations have called on the United States, which still controls the airspace in northern Iraq, to implement a “no-fly zone” to stop Turkey’s bombing raids.

But previously implemented no-fly zones have proved ineffective, as US and British reconnaissance planes handed flight data and co-ordinates to Turkish forces, grounding aircraft to allow them a free run to attack Kurdish targets.

The declaration concludes: “The Turkish state must be stopped, the international community must work to ensure that no further genocide of the Yazidi people takes place.

“What was done to the Yazidi people by the Turkish occupation troops in Afrin [in northern Syria] must not be repeated now in Sengal.”

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article ... nds-turkey
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:56 pm

US Doubles Reward for ISIS Leader

The United States on Wednesday doubled to $10 million its reward for the capture of the ISIS supremo, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced

Image

The US had already offered $5 million for Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli before he was identified as the successor to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed by US commandos in an October raid in Syria, AFP reported.

Born in 1976, al-Mawli issued edicts to justify the persecution of the Yazidi minority, a campaign that the United Nations has described as genocide

The militants killed thousands of Yazidis and abducted and enslaved thousands more women and girls as they rampaged across the Middle East.

Al-Mawli was born in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

https://english.aawsat.com/home/article ... sis-leader
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:18 am

Bodies of ISIS victims found in garden

Four bodies were found in a grave inside a residential property in Sinjar’s (Shingal) Qahtanya (Gir Uzer) sub-district, which are believed to have been victims of ISIS during the time in which it captured and controlled the city

After returning home from a displacement camp on Sunday, a Yezidi (Ezidi) family found the mass grave inside their garden, as they began to make repairs on their damaged house.

“We went to our home with several of my relatives to clean the house, following the ISIS war that left part of the house in ruins, with a lot of rubble, and then we found the bones and the remains of the bodies in the garden in one grave,” said Khairo Khidr, the owner of the house.

Khidr explained that once they had dug up the grave, they discovered that more than one body had been buried in it.

“According to the bones, including skulls, we discovered that there were four people buried there,” he said.

“There was no national identity card with the bodies,” he continued. “However, according to their clothes, they appear to be residents of the area, and they were shot and killed after ISIS took over the city of Shingal.”

The Khidr family believes that the bodies belong to four of their family members—three women and a man who are still missing.

The so-called Islamic State attacked Shingal on Aug. 3, 2014, and twelve days later—on Aug. 15—it conducted mass killings in the Ezidi inhabited village of Kujo. The terrorist group murdered 2,293 Ezidi civilians, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ezidi Affairs Directorate in the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs.

According to data provided by the directorate, over 80 mass graves have been found in Shingal, in addition to the graves of single individuals, whose victims date from the time when ISIS controlled the city.

Khayri Ali, a representative of the Ezidi organization for documentation of evidence, explained that the grave discovered by the Khidr family “has now been fenced, and no one is allowed to tamper with it, until the special team arrives to unearth it.” He noted that, so far, only four bodies appear to be in the grave. However, we are “not completely certain” there are no more bodies there, he added.

On March 15, the federal government of Iraq, the KRG, and the United Nations Investigative Team for the Promotion of Accountability for Crimes Committed by ISIS (UNITAD) marked the start of national efforts to unearth the first mass grave of Ezidis who were killed by the Islamic State in Aug. 2014.

However, the unearthing of the graves has been paused for several months now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent Iraqi lockdown orders that have been issued several times to curb the spread of the virus.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/0f1 ... 4a537f6e95
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:19 am

Threat of airstrikes by Turkey

Threats of airstrikes by Turkey amid its current military offensive are harming Iraq's already vulnerable Yazidi community

In a discussion held by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on Iraq’s Yazidi minority group, the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour condemned recent Turkish airstrikes on the Yezidi heartland of Shingal, near the Syrian border.

“How can people possibly flourish if they are under the threat of airstrikes?” Robert Destro said on Tuesday, in response to a question from Rudaw's Roj Eli Zalla on Turkish airstrikes in Sinjar (Shingal).

The airstrikes in the early hours of June 15 came just days after hundreds of Yezidi families returned to the Shingal area from displacement camps across the Kurdistan Region. While the area was liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) group in 2015, few members of the community have returned to the area, with basic services yet to be restored and concerns for their security amid the presence of a host of government and non-government military forces.

"Recent airstrikes conducted by Turkey have not only endangered the lives of Yezidis in Sinjar but have also dimmed the prospect of the return of civilians to their areas of origin," read a statement from the Free Yezidi Foundation, calling on various bodies including the UN Security Council, NATO and the Global Coalition against ISIS to take action.

"The question of how you deal with airstrikes is a little bit out of my portfolio...The only thing I think that can be done is engagement with the Turks and other people who have been acting in ways that are not conducive to the health of these communities," Destro added.

At least five civilians have been killed across the Kurdistan Region in the aerial Operation Claw-Eagle, launched by Ankara with the stated aim of targeting alleged Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) locations in the Kurdistan Region and in northern Iraqi territories disputed by the governments of the Kurdistan Region and federal Iraq, including Makhmour and Shingal.

Though Claw-Eagle has been the largest scale air offensive on the Kurdistan Region and disputed areas of Iraq for some time, Shingal has long been subject to individual airstrikes largely suspected to have been conducted by Turkey. A spate of Turkish airstrikes hit the region in 2018, killing prominent PKK leader Zaki Shingali on the anniversary of the Kocho massacre by ISIS.

“If Turkey has concerns about the security of Sinjar, it must discuss them with Iraqi authorities, not terrify a population still recovering from genocide,” Yezidi activist Murad Ismael told Al-Monitor on June 15.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a bipartisan government body, has also condemned the targeting of Yezidi settlements by Ankara.

“These actions are particularly threatening to hundreds of traumatized Yazidi families attempting to return to Sinjar and to other civilians in northern Iraq — none of whom deserve to be placed in harm’s way by a NATO ally,” USCIRF chair Gayle Manchin said in a June 19 statement.

The US State Department has been noticeably quiet with regards to the airstrikes, but US congressmen have individually issued condemnation of Turkey's operations.

"I am extremely disturbed by reports of Turkish military attacks on Kurdish people in Iraq. The Kurds have been a reliable U.S. partner in the fight against ISIS, and any violence against civilians by President Erdogan must be condemned," said Rep. Jim Cooper, Democratic congressman for the state of Tennessee - home to the city of Nashville, where a large Kurdish community lives.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/world/010720201
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:42 pm

Yazidis still negotiating return
of kidnapped women, children


On the morning of June 4, Ali Hussein was sitting in his car staring at the latest message on his phone sent by a mediator who is helping free six members of his family. The message said the Syrian armed faction was demanding $90,000 for his family members abducted in August 2014 from Sinjar, northern Iraq

Hussein himself was kidnapped by the Islamic State (ISIS) and managed to escape alive. He then decided to help rescue other Yazidis kidnapped by ISIS. According to the Kidnapped Yazidis Rescue Office based in the city of Dahok in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, around 2,800 Yazidis were kidnapped by ISIS and other extremist factions in Syria.

Ali Hussein al-Khansuri, who helped save dozens of Yazidi women and children, told Al-Monitor that rescue operations, which often involve buying back the kidnapped, are still ongoing, in particular in Idlib where Yazidi women and children are still held by ISIS and extremist factions. He said that the process of buying and selling Yazidis has turned into a trade, and that some Yazidis are sold several times in exchange for higher amounts.

He recounted how his cousin Aziza was brought back home at the beginning of the year. The phone messages exchanged show the purchase process and details of the delivery of the agreed amount. The parties to this sale agreed that $25,000 would be handed over upon Aziza's release and $15,000 would be paid a month later.

The messages also indicate that a mediator would go to the village of Abu Hassan, also called al-Baqan, near the Syrian Hajin area to pick up Aziza. The family was told not to contact another mediator to try reduce the total price of $40,000.

“Aziza was bought back after the amount agreed upon with ISIS was paid,” Khansuri said. “She went back home to the Kurdistan Region after being handed over [to the family] by the Kurdish-led autonomous administration in northeastern Syria.”

The media officer of the Kidnapped Yazidis Rescue Office, Maysar al-Adani, told Al-Monitor that they seek to free Yazidis kidnapped by ISIS through communication networks with mediators. The office opened at the beginning of October 2014.

“The office started operating after establishing a complete database of the Yazidis kidnapped by ISIS on Aug. 3, 2014,” he said.

He noted that the Kidnapped Yazidis Rescue Office provides financial and moral support to the families of the kidnapped after their liberation. “The money [to secure their release] is sent by the private office of the KRG president. The office facilitates the survivors’ affairs at the state departments through coordination with the competent authorities. It also provides them with health and psychological support through the survivors support center in Dahok. In addition, the office archives and documents information on all survivors, relays their messages to the decision-making quarters and gets them help from civil organizations.”

Adani said, “Large amounts have been paid over the past few years for the liberation of Yazidis. I don't know the exact amount, but I know it is substantial — amid a lack of support from the central Iraqi government, which has not yet contacted us about the survivors.”

He added, “New data about the Yazidi genocide shows that 6,417 Yazidis were kidnapped — 3,548 females and 2,869 males; 3,530 individuals have been rescued alive — 1,199 women and 339 men, in addition to 1,041 girls and 951 boys. A total of 2,878 people remain abducted — 1,308 females and 1,579 males.” (estimate)

Barakat Isa, a Yazidi media figure, believes that the buying and selling of the Yazidis has become a source of income for several factions and terrorist groups that are not affiliated with ISIS, in collaboration with Arab tribes in Iraq and Syria. He noted that the prevailing chaos on the Iraqi-Syrian border — amid a lack of control and supervision on the Iraqi side — has encouraged human trafficking. He added that some ISIS members have been benefitting from this lucrative trade since the establishment of ISIS in Syria and Iraq until this day.

“If ISIS has been militarily eradicated who is hiding the more than 1,000 Yazidis? Who are they being bought from? And why are those traders not being investigated,” Isa concluded.

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/origin ... -isis.html
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Re: Yazidi UPDATES genocide has occurred and is ongoing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:47 pm

Displaced Yazidis head back to Sinjar

Hundreds of Yazidi families driven from their hometown of Sinjar in northern Iraq years ago are now returning as the impact of coronavirus lockdown measures makes their lives in exile even harder

Many have lost their jobs and aid from donors in Sharya, where they have been living since they fled Sinjar in 2014.

Mahma Khalil, the mayor of Sinjar but now in exile in Dohuk in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, said more than 1,200 displaced families have returned from their temporary homes to Sinjar since June. Most had relatives there who serve in the military or police, he said.

Overrun by Islamic State in 2014 and liberated by an array of forces the following year, little has been rebuilt in Sinjar.

Water is scarce and power intermittent in the city, whose former occupiers killed thousands of Yazidis and forced many women in sexual slavery.

Despite the devastation that makes the city still largely unfit for habitation, members of this ancient minority feel they have no other choice.

“The situation has become really bad,” Yazidi community leader Jameel Elias Hassan al-Hamo said outside his makeshift home in Sharya, just south of Dohuk.

Young men from his community who used to earn up to $17 a day working at restaurants and factories can no longer find work because of the lockdown’s impact on the economy, al-Hamo said.

As he spoke, men carried pieces of furniture, blankets and bags of food out of his home and piled them onto the back of a pickup truck.

The coronavirus outbreak has worsened Iraq’s economic crisis, pushing oil prices down in a country that depends on crude export for more than 90% of its revenue. Restrictions on travel and curfews have driven many out of work.

Al-Hamo’s daughter-in-law Gole Zeblo Ismaeel said that the monthly aid packages they used to depend on became scarcer as the crisis impacted the work of humanitarian organizations.

Another reason for their return was the restriction on internal travel between semi-autonmous Kurdistan and neighbouring Iraqi regions, imposed since March to curb the spread of the virus.Al-Hamo said that most Yazidi families in Sharya have a son enrolled in armed forces stationed in Sinjar, who have been unable to visit for weeks.

“Some haven’t seen their families for over three months now,” he said. Although their hometown is destroyed, al-Hamo said they have been promised support by local aid organisations upon their return and he believed soon he will be reunited with the rest of his family soon.

“I registered over 400 names and phone numbers of relatives, members of the tribe and of the community. They said that once we, the sheikhs and tribal leaders, go back, they will follow us,” he added.

Khalil said he has been pleading for funds from the central government to step up reconstruction efforts in Sinjar but he believed it would not happen any time soon.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-healt ... KKBN247257
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