Ezidi tribal leaders want answers on whereabouts, fate of Ezidi ISIS prisoners

The heads of Yezidi (Ezidi) tribes and their close personnel on Wednesday jointly called on Iraq, the US-led coalition, and the United Nations to help find and return kidnapped Ezidis or their remains following recent reports of Ezidi massacres in eastern Syria.
author_image Sangar Ali

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The heads of Yezidi (Ezidi) tribes and their close personnel on Wednesday jointly called on Iraq, the US-led coalition, and the United Nations to help find and return kidnapped Ezidis or their remains following recent reports of Ezidi massacres in eastern Syria.

The call was made following a recent report the Daily Mail published which said British Elite SAS troops discovered 50 Ezidi sex slaves Islamic State fighters had slaughtered. The report comes as the local US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) push to liberate the militant group’s last stronghold in the eastern Syrian town of Baghouz.

“We call on the coalition forces, namely the US and all other troops that fight ISIS there [Syria] under the leadership of the coalition to discover the destiny of victims [kidnapped Ezidis] and help to return the prisoners soon,” a statement the Ezidi tribes’ leaders issued read.

“We also call on the Foreign Ministry of Iraq to shoulder the responsibility it has on its citizens to search for the Ezidi girls and return the bodies of the martyrs or their remains through their relations with the concerned governments.”

They also requested international organizations, the UN Security Council, representatives and diplomatic missions in Iraq and Syria to investigate the fate of the Ezidi prisoners in Islamic State captivity, whose whereabouts remain unknown.

The Ezidi community has asked judicial authorities to enforce death sentences for Islamic State criminals who are currently in jails.

The emergence of the Islamic State and its violent assault on Sinjar (Shingal) in 2014 led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Ezidis. Most of them fled to the Kurdistan Region, while others resettled to neighboring countries in the region or Western states.

Others were not as lucky and remained stranded in the war zone, where they experienced atrocities and mass executions at the hands of the extremist group for years. Militants subjected women and girls to sexual slavery, kidnapped children, forced religious conversions, executed scores of men, and abused, sold, and trafficked females across areas they controlled in Iraq and Syria.

Before the 2014 attack, there were roughly 550,000 Ezidis in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. As the militant group took over large swaths of territory in Nineveh province, 360,000 Ezidis escaped and found refuge elsewhere, according to the Ezidi Rescue Office.

So far, 69 mass graves which contain the remains of Ezidis have been excavated along with untold numbers of individual graves.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany