Iraq, August 14, 2016: On August 14, 2007, Al-Qaida terrorists attacked Yazidi civilians in Shingal “Sinjar” with four coordinated suicide car bombs in the Yazidi towns of Til Azir “Kahtaniya” and Siba Shex Khider “Al-Jazeera” on the southern side of Sinjar Mountain. The attack targeted residential and commercials areas of the two towns with the intention of killing as many people as possible.
The attack resulted in the killing of more than 1000 Yazidis – including children, woman and men – with over 1,500 civilians injured. These four attacks are considered the deadliest and most damaging single attacks by a radical group followed only by the September 11th attacks on the United States.
Systematic persecution of Yazidis can be traced back several centuries. Radical groups justify their horrific violence against Yazidis based on the belief that Yazidis are not “People of the book” – defining them as Infidels according to their strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.
The August 2007 attacks left behind hundreds of orphans and widows. This tragedy was only further deepened as the so-called Islamic State waged a genocidal campaign against the Yazidis in August 2014. The same towns (along with Kocho, Qini and Hardan) were the most affected in term of lives losts and abductions. An estimated 10,000 Yazidis were killed or enslaved during the 2014 Genocide and nearly the entire Yazidi population of 400,000 people were displaced.
“The 2014 genocide against the Yazidis was the last link in the chain of historic and systematic persecution by Radical Islamic Groups. This latest genocide – which has been acknowledged by the United Nations – must provoke the international community to look deeply into the problems facing Yazidis and adapt new measures to protect the Yazidis from radical groups. Unless the world stands up and takes responsibility, the very existence of Yazidis is at stake” – Murad Ismael, Yazda Executive Director