Ezidi 24 – Diab Ghanem
Translation – Tahseen Alhaskany
The terrorist organization “ISIS” invaded a large proportion of Iraqi lands in 2014, causing distress on religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq, which led to the migration and displacement of thousands of these minorities to the Kurdistan region of Iraq and other Iraqi governorates that the organization could not control, to save their lives.
Many of the areas from which minorities have fled or emigrated are still deserted and some are still at risk. The ISIS attack was not the only attack on minorities, but since the fall of the Ba’ath regime, minorities in Iraq have been harassed by terrorist groups, the most prominent of which was Al Qaeda and the terrorist organization “ISIS”.
Minorities in Iraq are still waiting for relief to breathe in and out of their land, minorities in Iraq live in places somewhat isolated from other cities and towns, and after the liberation of Iraq from ISIS, their areas are still complaining of a lack of services and in need of reconstruction after the organization destroyed the infrastructure of most of their cities.
Christianity, Yazidis, Turkmen, Shabaks, Kaka’is (Yarsanism), all of these minorities, ISIS have divided injustice on them in addition to other citizens, and their wounds are still open and waiting to be bandaged, as thousands of these minorities are still bound and unknown to those who fell into the hands of ISIS in various places.
Christianity is the second largest religion in Iraq in terms of the number of followers after Islam, according to the comprehensive encyclopedia Wikipedia, and it is a recognized religion according to the Iraqi constitution, as it recognizes fourteen Christian sects in Iraq that are allowed to worship. Christian are distributed over several sects, and a percentage of them speak the Arabic language, while a percentage of them speak the Syriac language with its many dialects and the Armenian language.
As Christians are a minority, and because they are infidels according to the law of the Islamic Caliphate State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), just like Yazidis and Shiite Turkmen, they were among the most affected by the advent of the terrorist organization “ISIS”, the kidnapping of thousands of Yazidis and hundreds of Christians and Shiite Turkmen.
Christian women could not survive the barbarism of the terrorist organization ISIS as they were killed, kidnapped and sold as captives just like Yazidis and Turkmen women, until the moment there are Christians whose fate is unknown despite the elimination of the Islamic Caliphate in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, furthermore, ISIS has seizing their property and exporting their homes in the time of the caliphate .
The former minister in the Iraqi government and head of the current Shlomo Organization for Documentation , Faris Yousef Jajo, spoke to “Ezidi 24” and said, “The Shlomo Organization for Documentation has followed up on all the violations that occurred against the Iraqi people, especially what happened to the kidnapped among them from the Assyrian, Syriac and Chaldeans, and Armenians (Christians), and there are statistics registered with the organization about these cases, and they were issued in reports issued by the organization in the years 2016/2017 and 2017-2018.
“Jajo” reiterated that “at the beginning of the attack of the Islamic Caliphate State in Iraq and the Levant “ISIS” the organization monitored and documented 264 kidnappings since the first day of the terrorists’ invasion of the areas of Mosul and the Nineveh Plains and Sinjar, distributed among women, men, youth and children. So far about 140-150 women, girls and children have survived.
It is considered one of the oldest Iraqi components. Their number is estimated at 550 thousand people, according to unconfirmed statistics, who live in the regions of northern Iraq, represented by Sinjar/ Shingal district, Shekhan district, Duhok governorate, Ba’aj district and Bashiqa Sub-district.
This minority has been subjected to continuous harassment for decades, the last and largest of which was the genocide committed by the terrorist organization “ISIS” against them in Sinjar / Shingal district. This minority had the largest share of ISIS injustice, as it killed and kidnapped thousands of civilians, furthermore, the devastation it left and the military and political chaos in the region.
According to a report entitled “They came to destroy: ISIS crimes against the Yazidis” of the International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic published in June 2016, ISIS committed genocide against the Yezidis.
According to the report, “ISIS sought to wipe out the Yazidis through murder, sexual slavery, enslavement, torture, and inhuman and degrading treatment, as well as through forcible transfer that caused psychological and physical harm. Add to that the imposition of poor living conditions that brought about a slow death and the use of methods that hindered the birth of Yazidi children, including forcing adult Yazidis to change their religion, psychological trauma, separating Yazidi women and men, removing Yazidi children from their families and placing them with ISIS fighters, thus separating them from their community’s beliefs and religious practices. “.
The report emphasized, “ISIS separated Yazidi men and boys who were over 12 years old from the rest of their families and killed those who refused to convert in order to destroy their Yazidi identity. Women and children have witnessed, in many cases, these killings before they were deported to places in Iraq and then in Syria, where most of the kidnapped remained.
It also included, “Thousands of women and girls, some of whom were less than nine years old, were sold in slave markets or “Sabaya markets” as it was called in the governorates of Raqqa, Aleppo, Homs, Hasaka and Deir ez-Zur in Syria. According to the report, ISIS fighters kept these women and girls in conditions of enslavement and sexual slavery and were repeatedly sold, gifted, or exchanged between fighters. “It is difficult for me to remember all of those who bought me,” one of the women said in her testimony before the committee, after estimating that she was sold 15 times.
According to the latest statistics on the genocide of Yazidis at the hands of ISIS published by the Office of the Rescue of the Abducted Yazidis in Duhok Governorate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and it is approved by the United Nations, the attack caused the displacement of about 360,000 people and the attack, in the first days of the genocide left behind, 1293 martyrs and wounded, 83 mass graves discovered, In addition to dozens of individual cemetery sites, in addition to the secretion of 2,745 orphans and the bombing of 68 shrines and temples.
And after the ISIS attack, more than 100,000 Yazidis were displaced outside the country, and the numbers of kidnapped people are as follows:
The number of the kidnapped is 6417, including:
The female 3548
Survivors of the terrorist grip are as follows:
Total: 3530 of them
Female children: 1041
Male children: 951
The number of others: 2887
Females: 1308 Males: 1579
The Turkmen of Iraq are the third largest ethnic group in Iraq according to the latest statistics, and they are preceded by Arabs and Kurds in terms of numbers.
The Turkmen component’s people did not survive from the damage of ISIS, but rather they were an important prey for the terrorist organization, as they are among the list of infidels, according to the law of the Islamic Caliphate State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). The Turkmen, like the Arab Muslims, are divided into two parts (Shiite Turkmen, Sunni Turkmen) and they are among the oldest components of Iraq.
When ISIS came, a large percentage of Sunni Turkmen joined it, according to the testimony of Yazidis who survived it, while the Shiite Turkmen were killed and kidnapped, and their property was looted and destroyed, just like the Yazidi component, at the hands of ISIS in their areas of presence, and some of them were exposed to that when they were Displaced people in the Sinjar / Shingal district.
“Ibtisam al-Hayo, head of the Intercultural Dialogue Organization for Relief and Development, in an interview with“ Ezidi 24 ”, documented the number of Turkmen kidnapped, saying,“ The total number of kidnappers is 1,300, of whom 1,200 were kidnapped in 2014, that is, when ISIS attacked our regions. 100 kidnapping cases were recorded during the years from 2015 to 2017, including 470 women and girls, 130 children and 700 men.”
“42 kidnappers survived, 20 of them girls and 22 children, under the age of 18, and the rest are unknown until the moment and there is no serious move to liberate them, which makes it difficult to liberate them,” She added.
The Alo Antar cemetery, located in the Tal Afar district, is the largest mass grave for Turkmen and Yazidis, as it contains 1,200 bodies of civilians of the two components mentioned in accordance with Iraqi human rights.
Kaka’is (Yarsanism )
A Muslim component whose appearance dates back 5,000 years and they have customs and traditions that they practice like any other religious group. The Kaka’is are distributed between Iran and Iraq, as their number in the Kurdistan region of Iraq is about 250,000 people, and there are three million Kaka’is in the Kurdish regions in western Iran.
Their villages extend from the easternmost part of Iraq in the areas of Halabja and Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and west to the regions of Tuz Khurmatu, Khanqin, Horaman and Daquq, and even the Nineveh Plain in the far northwest of the city of Mosul.
They were still complaining about the harassment of the terrorist organization ISIS, killing and kidnapping dozens of them and causing the displacement of entire villages as the organization continues to attack their villages in the Kirkuk governorate.
Speaking to “Ezidi 24,” the Kaka’i activist, Ragab Kakai, said, “The Turkmen component was affected in the same way as the rest of the components (minorities) in the ISIS attack on the Iraqi governorates. In Khanqin ISIS killed 17 people, in Kirkuk 29 people, and in Nineveh 32 people from the Kaka’i component. “.
And he added, “There are 11 villages whose residents were displaced to safe areas, and two villages were completely destroyed in Kirkuk and in Khanqin, there are five villages whose people were displaced.”
Shabak are one of the original components that have lived in Iraq for hundreds of years, as they live in the eastern and northern sides of Nineveh Governorate and are divided sectarianly between Sunnis and Shiites, and nationally between Shabakia and Kurdish.
According to the statistics announced by the United Nations, their population is about 350 thousand people living in more than 72 villages and communities located in the district of Hamdaniya and the Sub-districts of Bashiqa and Bartella, or the so-called Nineveh Plain.
ISIS also attacked them and caused the evacuation of more than ten Shabak villages. According to Shabki MP Qusay Abbas, “ISIS kidnapped 233 Shabak people, and it does not know whether they were kidnapped or killed, most of them men.”