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Yezidi Leader: “The World Ignores the Plight of our People on Mount Sinjar”

(Photo Credit: Mirza Ismail)

Yezidi leader Mirza Ismail describes how the situation is extremely dire for women and children on Mount Sinjar while the international community and global media outlets ignore it.

In recent days, media outlets across the world have been speaking about the ISIS massive car bomb near the German Embassy in Kabul, the ISIS car bomb outside an ice-cream shop in Baghdad, a priest who was kidnapped by ISIS in the Philippines and how Iraqi forces are confronting the ISIS-held neighborhoods in Western Mosul. However, there has been virtual silence regarding the present situation on Mount Sinjar.

According to Yazidi leader Mirza Ismail, the situation on Mount Sinjar has not improved since 2014. In fact, he claimed that the situation has even deteriorated. Nevertheless, he proclaimed: “The international media has not been covering the present situation on Mount Sinjar I think because the Yezidi fighting forces and the Shiite Popular Mobilization Force made the decision to start fighting against ISIS terrorism and to liberate the Yezidi region of Sinjar as well as the rest of Iraq from ISIS.” He claimed that if other groups were doing the fighting, they would have covered it.

New mass grave found on Mount Sinjar (Photo Credit: Mirza Ismail)

“For the last 7 days, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces and the Yezidi fighters have taken control of all the Yezidi villages on the southern side of Mount Sinjar,” he related. “The Iraqi government has provided many Yezidi fighters with different types of weapons to defend the Yezidi region of Mount Sinjar. The Joint Forces have discovered several new Yezidi mass graves nearby every village on the southern side of the mountain. According to my colleagues, the numbers of mass-graves found in Yezidis’ villages south of Mount Sinjar are 10 so far.”

According to Ismail, the situation for Yezidi civilians on Mount Sinjar is still very dire:

“They lack everything that is needed for daily life, such as food, clean drinking water, doctors, healthcare, hospitals and education for the children. There is a lack of schools and teachers. There are a few tent schools for some children but not enough for all children there. In the villages north of the mountain, the children have difficulty getting to school because of the lack of transportation, as the government has not provided it. The children lack school supplies, good food, clean drinking water, winter clothing, health care, etc. Our organization and many others are trying to help the children the best that we can but the needs are larger than the capacity of NGOs. The conditions in the shelters are very bad as the civilians still cannot go back to their villages because many of the houses were destroyed by ISIS and booby-trapped, a reality that has killed many young Yezidis.”

Yezidi female fighter (Photo Credit: Mirza Ismail)

Ismail stressed that the plight of the Yezidi women is especially difficult for while most of Iraq has been liberated, most of the Yezidi women are still enslaved by ISIS:

“The Yezidis on Mount Sinjar believe most of their women and children were transferred outside of Iraq when ISIS saw they would be defeated. On the other hand, many Yezidi women have picked up arms and defended the region but they lack the proper training and weapons, which the Yezidis have been asking for a long time. Unfortunately, nobody has bothered to help yet. Sadly, the international community finds it very hard to give some arms to an ancient and indigenous Yezidi nation seeking self-defense and they find it much easier to sell high-tech weapons to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Islamic countries, who use them to kill innocents such as the Yezidis.”

Despite all of these recent developments, the United States, Israel, Canada and the international community at large has not responded to what is happening on Mount Sinjar. Ismail claims that this is for political reasons. Nevertheless, Ismail argues that even if it is not politically correct to say so, he believes that “the only solution for the Yezidis and Chaldo-Assyrian Christians to survive as a people with human dignity is to have an autonomous region in Sinjar and Nineveh under international protection” and he hopes that the international community will recognize this sooner rather than later.

 
  • Rich

    Thank you for bringing some attention to Yazidis and minorities in the region, even a blog post can likely help save some lives…the silence about them is adding to the threats and murders against them, simply for being born who they are…

Author

Rachel Avraham
Rachel Avraham

Rachel Avraham is a senior media research analyst at the Center for Near East Policy Research and a correspondent for the Israel Resource News Agency. She is based in Israel and publishes in a variety of media outlets throughout the world. She is the author of "Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab media." Avraham has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University and a BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.

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