Meet the Yazidi. Or rather, a look at what they’ve been putting up with the last five years.
Genocide of Yazidis by ISIL
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, calling itself Islamic State) is recognized by the United Nations as the perpetrator of a genocide of Yazidis in Iraq. The genocide led to the expulsion, flight and effective exile of the Yazidis from their ancestral lands in Northern Iraq whose women and girls were forced into sexual slavery by the Islamic State and whose men were killed by the thousands. The genocide led to the abduction of Yazidi women and massacres that killed five thousand Yazidi civilians during what has been called a “forced conversioncampaign” being carried out in Northern Iraq by ISIL, starting in 2014. The genocide happened following the Kurdish Peshmergawithdrawal, which left the Yazidis defenseless.
These events were the impetus for the US to begin air strikes and form Operation Inherent Resolve.
From the wiki above:
ISIL’s persecution of the Yazidis gained international attention and led to the American-led intervention in Iraq, which started with United States airstrikes against ISIL. Additionally, the US, UK, and Australia made emergency airdrops to Yazidis who had fled to a mountain range. YPG and PKK fighters opened a humanitarian corridor to the Sinjar Mountains and helped the Yazidis.
As with the Jewish people, I think they basically get fucked over on the regular basically because they won’t give up their religion. Which traditionally pisses other people off.
I think I read somewhere that in their history they count like 72 incidents of something awful like this, but I’d have to double check. I know there’s been, like, a lot.
Here’s the last few before ISIS.
- In 1640, 40,000 Ottoman soldiers attacked Yazidi communities around Mount Sinjar, killing 3,060 Yazidis during battle, then raiding and setting fire to 300 Yazidi villages and murdering 1,000–2,000 Yazidis who had taken refuge in caves around the town of Sinjar;[non-primary source needed]
- in 1892, Sultan Abdulhamid II ordered a campaign of mass conscription or murder of Yazidis as part of his campaign to Islamize the Ottoman Empire, which also targeted Armenians and other Christians.
Post 2003 Iraq invasion eraEdit
In April 2007, a bus in Mosul was hijacked, Muslims and Christians were told to get off, the remaining 23 Yazidi passengers were driven to an eastern Mosul location and murdered.
In August 2007, two Yazidi communities, in Qahtaniyah (just south of Sinjar) and Jazeera (Siba Sheikh Khidir), near Mosul, were hit by a total of four vehicle bombs carrying two tons of explosives, leaving 336–500 dead and 1,500 injured. Perpetrators are unknown; the U.S. saw “al-Qaeda as the prime suspect” because of the scale and the co-ordinated nature of the bombings.
Now, the careful reader would have noticed who were the first people to intervene to save Yazidi people from ISIS: That’s right, the mother fucking Kurds.
December 2014 Sinjar offensive
So, it’s not like these people haven’t been aware of fighting ISIS in the past when the West wasn’t on the ball.
And then it gets fuzzy. The Peshmerga have been criticized for being responsible for Yazidi getting whacked because of their withdrawal against ISIS.
24. As they moved into Sinjar, ISIS fighters faced little or no resistance. Many of the Peshmerga reportedly withdrew in the face of the ISIS advance, leaving much of the Sinjar region defenceless. The decision to withdraw was not effectively communicated to the local population. No evacuation orders were issued and most villages were initially unaware of the collapse of the security situation.
25. As word spread that the Peshmerga had left their checkpoints, a few ad hoc groups of lightly armed, local Yazidi men mounted a very limited defence of some villages, such as Girzerik and Siba Sheikh Khedir, in an attempt to give their families and neighbours more time to escape. By daybreak, Yazidi families from hundreds of villages across Sinjar were fleeing their homes in fear and panic. They took little with them. Others were advised by Arab neighbours to stay in the villages and raise white flags over their houses.
That looks bad. Of course, putting aside the some might argue that holding the Kurds responsible for the fate of another people might be a bit rich, it somewhat runs against the grain of what appears to be a fair amount of gratitude to the Kurds for their intervention—
—but even beyond that, the Peshmerga aren’t the YPG, but the tendency to refer to the Kurds as a unified homogenous people allows for the distortion of what “the Kurds” have done.
Which totally complicated both our ability to support them or even understand them, especially since anti-Kurdish entities such as Turkey promote the conflations.
So, since I’ve been talking about media and how major news organizations have been dropping the ball so consistently: Forbes can probably go fuck themselves.
Yazidis in Iraq are unanimous on who saved them from the Islamic State — the Syrian Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units.
And this confusion about who is doing what and who is responsible for what leads to shit like this.
Which is to say, Turkey’s NATO membership has been hamstringing the fight against ISIS for over five fucking years now.
And this isn’t just a problem for the Kurdish people which, as has come up a lot, become the focus for what are much larger regional problems.
As in, this Kurdish stuff is just about their attempts to fight ISIS which saves not just themselves but other peoples in the region.
Like the aforementioned Yazidi.
The New Yoker did a more involved piece in Aug 2018 through the lens of Yazidi in America traveling to Washington to urge action:
When the terrorist group attacked the Yazidis, a small group of American immigrants knew they could do something.
I mean, Americans think that we’re taking the fight against ISIS seriously. Which I think we all agree is worthy cause. But the idea that the US is really taking this seriously—
Fucking, compared to who?
They’re probably not angels either, though they’ve heard worse, being accused of devil worship and the like.
I’m ending this post here not because there isn’t more to say but because reading all this from 2014 is pissing me off and the cat looks concerned.