October 24, 2014

IRAQ and SYRIA: UN Confirms 5,000 Yazidi Men Were Executed And 7,000 Yazidi Women Are Now Kept As Sex Slaves By ISIS

The Daily Mail, UK
written by Steve Hopkins
Tuesday October 14, 2014

Thousands of Yazidi men in Iraq were murdered in scenes reminiscent of the Bosnian Srebrenica massacre when Islamic State jihadists swept through in August, according to researchers.

Tens of thousands of Yazidi refugees took up residence at make-shift sites and villages across the Kurdish region of northern Iraq after fleeing across Mount Sinjar in August - but equal numbers remained trapped behind the Isil lines.

Researchers, piecing together reports of attacks, have now concluded that more than 5,000 Yazidi were gunned down in a series of massacres by jihadist.

A further 5-7,000 women are also being held in makeshift detention centres, where they either been taken away and sold into slavery or handed over to jihadists as concubines.

Five detention centres in the town of Tal Afar is thought to hold around 3,500 women and children.

Due to the magnitude of the killings and enslavement they occurred largely unreported, but now United Nationals researchers have verified many of the tales of horror.

Bakat Khalaf, 60, said 14 of his family were missing or kidnapped, including his son.

Khartun Yusef said her daughter and four granddaughters were being detained in Tal Afar. Her son managed to get away with her to Mount Sinjar, but he was shot and killed when they tried to return home for supplies.

Her other son, who is 18, had been captured by jihadists.

The UN researchers have been collecting accounts of the Isil incursions.

It says that 250-300 men were killed in Mr Khalaf's village, Hardan, including ten that were beheaded. Another 400 were gunned down in the village of Khocho; Isil shelling killed another 200 civilians in the village of Adnaniya and 70-90 men were shot in a ditch in the village of Quinyeh.

On another road, out of al-Shimal village, near to Sinjar town, witnesses reported seeing dozens of bodies.
Researchers said hundreds more men had been killed for refusing to convert to Islam.

Some of the killing were brutally simplistic, with people being lined up at checkpoints, shot dead, then bulldozed into mass graves. Others were herded into temples which were late blown up.

Matthew Barber, a scholar of Yazidi history at the University of Chicago who was in Kurdistan as the assaults happened, said it was thought 3-5,000 men had been killed.

Some 4,800 women and children were thought to be held captive, and that number was expected to rise above 7,000.
Mr Barber told The Telegraph: 'In every place where Yazidi women or families are held, jihadists come and randomly select women that they take away.'

The jihadists claim justification through accounts of seizures of women in the early days of Muslim expansion in the 7th Century.
An open letter to Isil by Islamic scholars last month took Isil to task over the Yazidis, insisting that: "The reintroduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam. It was abolished by universal consensus."

Meanwhile, a magazine purportedly published by the terror group, Dabiq, released on Sunday attempts to justify the militants' snaring of thousands of innocent Yazidis during an assault on the Iraqi city of Sinjar in August.

Explaining why Yazidis have been sold into sex slavery while those from other groups have not, the magazine claims Islamic Sharia law allows the enslavement of innocent 'polytheists and pagans' but not of those the militants regard as simply heretical.
Tens of thousands of Yazidis were forced to flee for their lives - many of them into the nearby Sinjar mountains and then into Kurdish-held regions of northern Iraq.

However many were captured by the militants, resulting in the massacre of hundreds of men and the selling into slavery of women and children, after they were first divided up between ISIS fighters.

ISIS' claim to have enslaved and sold Yazidi women and children came as Human Rights Watch said hundreds of Yazidis from Iraq continue to be held captive in makeshift detention facilities.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled into the Sinjar Mountains after the militant onslaught on Sinjar, part of ISIS' lightning advance into north and western Iraq.

Iraq's Human Rights Ministry said at the time that hundreds of women were abducted by the militants, who consider the Yazidis, a centuries-old religious minority, a heretical sect.

The issue of Dabiq magazine released on Sunday stated that 'the enslaved Yazidi families are now sold by the Islamic State soldiers.'

It added that 'the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Shariah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations.'

Attempting to justify the move, the magazine said Sharia law differentiates between female Muslims from 'heretical' sects, and those from groups such as the Yazidids, who are considered pagans.

'This large-scale enslavement of mushrik families is probably the first since the abandonment of this Sharia law,' the article says, referring to the enslavement of Yazidis.

'The only other known case - albeit much smaller - is that of the enslavement of Christian women and children in the Philippines and Nigeria by the mujahedeen there.'

Most of the Yazidis are now displaced in northern Iraq, many having lost loved ones in their flight to safety. Some say that women and girls were snatched during the militant raid.

In one section of the magazine, a statement attributed to Mohammed al-Adnani, the spokesman for the Islamic State group, read: 'We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women,' addressing those who do not subscribe to its hardline interpretation of Islam.

The magazine's release came as New York-based Human Rights Watch said the group 'separated young women and teenage girls from their families and has forced some of them to marry its fighters.'

One woman told Human Rights Watch that she saw Islamic State fighters buying girls, and a teenage girl said a fighter bought her for $1,000, the report said.

The Associated Press independently has interviewed a number of Yazidi women and girls who escaped captivity and several claimed that they were sold to Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria.

No comments: