Yazidis continue to suffer severe discrimination at the hands of ISIS as the terrorist group persists in its genocidal agenda of targeting the ethnic group both in Iraq and in Syria.
Despite the discriminatory activities of ISIS affecting all groups that do not abide by its harsh ideology, the terrorist group has placed specific emphasis on targeting vulnerable Yazidis in Syria and, especially, in Iraq. This has led to several claims of ‘genocide’ by international groups.
Women in particular have suffered immensely as they have been kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery within ISIS circles. However, many non-Yazidis have stepped up to aid the Yazidis in ISIS territories, hiding or otherwise shielding them from capture by the militants. This was the case with one Yazidi girl from who was provided helter by a family in Mosul. The terrorists would persistently ask to take the Yazidi girl in order to force a marriage upon her. Nevertheless, the family would convince them that she was already married off and produced a marriage contract to persuade the terrorists to leave them be.
Despite these efforts, they were subsequently arrested by the militants, saved from execution and rescued only through what has been described as a “miracle of God”. The experiences of this family highlights how many locals have sacrificed their own safety to protect those around them even as many Yazidis, Christians and other minorities continue to feel mistrust towards the wider Iraqi society due to the events of the past three years.
Many Yazidi women were not as lucky as the family in this instance and have lost many loved ones to the militants. Still, Yazidi women continue to escape the militants and be freed from them. Many of them have put up efforts to resist and repel ISIS forces from Yazidi-populated areas, especially in and around Sinjar.
Internally displaced Yazidis are scattered across Iraq and their wish now is to return to their homes.