Statement by Yazidi community Leaders on Turkish Invasion of NE Syria and targeting of Yazidis

We, Leaders from the Yazidi community in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and in diaspora, condemn, in the strongest words, the attack by Turkish forces and its allied Syrian radical factions, on NE Syria, a home to Syrian minorities, including Yazidis, Christians, Kurds and others. This invasion presents an immediate threat to the security of NE Syria, as well as broader regional and Iraqi security, including Yazidi areas adjunct to Iraqi-Syria border, in particular District of Sinjar.

Radical groups in Afrin, which was occupied by Turkey and its allied radical factions, presents a sobering example on bad treatment of minorities, including Yazidis. Occupation of Afrin caused displacement of thousands of Yazidis who fled from 18 villages. Radical groups destroyed 17 Yazidi temples and religious sites in violation of International laws and convections.

Eastern Euphrates was home to more than 50,000 Yazidi prior to the events in Syria. The current events in NE Syria, if not halted, will annihilate Yazidis from their ancestral homeland in Syria, which will effect historical presence of Yazidi in the Middle East, particularly their ancestral homeland in Iraq and Syria.

Our community, including survivors of Yazidi Genocide, are deeply concerned about the potential release of thousands of ISIS militants. Our community continues to await establishment of national and international mechanisms to hold ISIS militants accountable for the crimes they committed, especially that significant evidence exist today in Syria.

We call on the international community to take all necessary measures to halt all military operations in NE Syria. We also call for a political process in Syria that will ensure sustainable peace for all people of Syria, and that ethnical and religious components of Syria to be considered as an important factor in determining future of Syria, include of Yazidis. We call also for international measures to prevent escape of ISIS militants and to safely free nearly 3000 Yazidi women and children who remain in captivity.


Statement Signatories:

1. Ali Atalan, Former Yazidi member of Parliament, Turkey

2. Azher Bety, Associate Professor, University or Sulaymaniyah, Iraq

3. Barakat Issa, Yazidi Journalist, Germany

4. Dauod Jundi, member of Nineveh Provincial Council, Iraq

5. Duzen Tekkal, Organization, Germany

6. Faraj Khairi Bek, Member of Yazidi Prince Family, Iraq

7. Farida Sado Xelef, Movement for Freedom of Yazidi Women, Iraq

8. Faris Harbo, Yazidi Party for Jus and Democracy, Iraq

9. Feleknas Uca, Yazidi member of Parlaiment, Turkey

10. Fikret Igrik, Co-Chairman Yazidi Exile Council of Sinjar, Germany

11. Jarkin Nabu, Head of Syrian Yazidi Alliance, Syria

12. Haci Qirani, Yazidi Activist, Germany

13. Haider Shesho, Head of Yazidi Democratic Party, Iraq

14. Himat Yousif, Syrian Lawyer, Germany

15. Ido Khamoka, Associate Professor, University of Dohuk, Iraq

16. Khabat Khedir, Eziden Weltweit E.V., Germany

17. Leyla Ferman, Women for Justice, Germany

18. Lamya Haji Bashar, Survivor and Activist, Iraq

19. Mirza Dinnayi, Head of Iraq-German Humanitarian Bridge, Germany

20. Murad Ismael, Executive Director, Yazda, United States

21. Omar Saeed, Survivor, Iraq

22. Pari Ibrahim, Executive Director, Free Yezidi Foundation, The Netherlands

23. Rustam Bakoyan, Yazidi Member of Parlaiment, Armenia

24. Saib Khidir, Yazidi Member of Parlaiment, Iraq

25. Saman Suleman, Associate Professor, University of Dohuk, Iraq

26. Sarab Elias, Lawyer and Activist, Iraq

27. Yilmaz Gunay, Zentralverband der Ezidischen Vereine E.V., Germany