Three years have passed since the genocide committed by ISIS on the Yazidi population in Iraq, centred in the region of Sinjar. Other minorities throughout Iraq and Syria have also been fearful of the terrorist organisation that has targeted those who do not fit into their restrictive and totalitarian ideology.
One such minority is the Syriac Assyrian people. The head of the Syriac Cultural Association in Syria, Elisabeth Gurier, expresses her deep sorrow at the suffering of the Yazidis, with whom she empathises as a minority that has been discriminated against just like the Assyrians.
She mentions the history of oppression by repressive regimes that both Assyrians and Yazidis have suffered on the very lands that they have lived on for centuries. Both groups of people have been either killed en masse or expelled from their homelands by force.
Elisabeth Gurier emphasises the effects on women that ISIS rule has had, as women and girls have been kidnapped and held captive in their droves. As the liberation of Raqqa progress, Yazidi and Assyrian girls are being freed from ISIS captivity on a daily basis. She also mentions how many Yazidi women have taken up arms and joined the “Women Protection Forces” (YPJ) to resist ISIS and liberate their lands.
The violent massacre perpetrated against the Yazidis in Sinjar by ISIS took place on 3rd August 2014, when ISIS militants moved from Mosul to Sinjar to carry out the systematic executions of Yazidis in what has been one of the most brutal ethnic cleansing campaigns in recent history.
Yazidis are still seeking accountability and justice for those who tore apart communities and eradicated whole families.
Sinjar was later liberated from ISIS by a coalition of forces, including the Kurdish Peshmerga and Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) and the security situation of the region has been precarious ever since, despite periods of calm.