Genocide of Yazidis by ISIL
|Yazidi genocide (by ISIL)|
|Part of 2014 Northern Iraq offensive|
Images from top, left and right: Yazidi refugees receiving support from the International Rescue Committee. A member of the U.S. Mt. Sinjar Assessment Team being greeted by locals near Sinjar, Iraq. Bundles of water inside a C-17 Globemaster III before a humanitarian airdrop by the United States Air Force.
|Genocidal massacre, ethnic cleansing, forced conversion|
|Deaths||2,100 to 4,400 (per Sinjar massacre)|
|4,200-10,800 kidnapped or captive (per Sinjar massacre)|
|Motive||Religious persecution, human trafficking, and forced conversions to Wahhabism and Salafism|
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, calling itself Islamic State) is recognized by the United Nations as the perpetrator of a genocide of Yazidis in Iraq. The genocide has led to the expulsion, flight and effective exile of the Yazidis from their ancestral lands in Northern Iraq. The genocide led to the abduction of Yazidi women and massacres that killed thousands of Yazidi civilians during what has been called a "forced conversion campaign" being carried out in Northern Iraq by ISIL, starting in 2014.
ISIL's persecution of the Yazidis gained international attention and it directly led to the American-led intervention in Iraq, which started with United States airstrikes against ISIL. Additionally, the US, UK, and Australia made emergency airdrops to Yazidis who had fled to a mountain range and provided weapons to the Kurdish Peshmerga whom fled leaving Yazidi's in vulnerable situation The PKK and YPG forces reached in time to save the people. ISIL's actions against the Yazidi population have resulted in approximately 500,000 refugees and several thousand killed and kidnapped.
The Yazidis are monotheists who believe in a benevolent peacock angel and practice an ancient gnostic faith. The self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other followers of Islam in the region tend to view the peacock angel as the malevolent creature Lucifer or Shaitan and they consider the Yazidis 'devil worshippers'.
In August 2014, more than 300 Yazidi families were threatened and forced to choose between conversion to Sunni Islam or death.
Previous targeting of Yazidis (by Sunnis)
- In 1640, 40,000 Ottoman soldiers attacked Yazidi communities around Mount Sinjar, killing 3,060 Yazidis during battle, then raiding and setting fire to 300 Yazidi villages and murdering 1,000–2,000 Yazidis who had taken refuge in caves around the town of Sinjar;
- in 1892, Sultan Abdulhamid II ordered a campaign of mass conscription or murder of Yazidis as part of his campaign to Islamize the Ottoman Empire, which also targeted Armenians and other Christians.
Post 2003 Iraq invasion era
- In April 2007, a bus in Mosul was hijacked, Muslims and Christians were told to get off, the remaining 23 Yazidi passengers were driven to an eastern Mosul location and murdered.
- In August 2007, two Yazidi communities, in Qahtaniyah (just south of Sinjar) and Jazeera (Siba Sheikh Khidir), near Mosul, were hit by a total of four vehicle bombs carrying two tons of explosives, leaving 336–500 dead and 1,500 injured. Perpetrators are unknown; the U.S. saw "al-Qaeda as the prime suspect" because of the scale and the co-ordinated nature of the bombings.
Yazidis, and internet postings of ISIL, have reported summary executions that day by ISIL militants, leading to 200,000 civilians fleeing Sinjar, of whom around 50,000 Yazidis were reportedly escaping to the nearby Sinjar Mountains. They were trapped on Mount Sinjar, surrounded by ISIL militants and facing starvation and dehydration.
On 3 August, ISIL killed the men from the al-Qahtaniya area, ten Yazidi families fleeing were attacked by ISIL; and ISIL shot 70 to 90 Yazidi men in Qiniyeh village.
On 4 August, ISIL fighters attacked Jabal Sinjar, killed 30 Yazidi men; 60 more Yazidi men were killed in the village of Hardan. On the same day, Yazidi community leaders stated that at least 200 Yazidis had been killed in Sinjar (see Sinjar massacre), and 60–70 near Ramadi Jabal. According to reports from surviving Yazidi, between 3 and 6 August, more than 50 Yazidi were killed near Dhola village, 100 in Khana Sor village, 250–300 in Hardan area, more than 200 on the road between Adnaniya and Jazeera, dozens near al-Shimal village, and on the road from Matu village to Jabal Sinjar.
On 10 August 2014, according to statements by the Iraqi government and others, ISIL militants buried alive an undefined number of Yazidi women and children in northern Iraq in an attack that killed 500 people, in what has been described as genocide. Those who escaped across the Tigris River into Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria on 10 August gave accounts of how they had seen individuals also attempting to flee who later died.
On 15 August, in the Yazidi village of Kojo, south of Sinjar, after the whole population had received the jihadist ultimatum to convert or be killed, over 80 men were killed. A witness recounted that the villagers were first converted under duress, but when the village elder refused to convert, all of the men were taken in trucks under the pretext of being led to Sinjar, and gunned down along the way. According to reports from survivors interviewed by OHCHR, on 15 August, the entire male population of the Yazidi village of Khocho, up to 400 men, were rounded up and shot by ISIL, and up to 1,000 women and children were abducted; on the same day, up to 200 Yazidi men were reportledy executed for refusing conversion in a Tal Afar prison.
Between 24 and 25 August 14 elderly Yazidi men were executed by ISIL in the Sheikh Mand Shrine, and the Jidala village Yazidi shrine was blown up. On 1 September, the Yazidi villages of Kotan, Hareko and Kharag Shafrsky were set afire by ISIL, and on 9 September, Peshmerga fighters discovered a mass grave containing the bodies of 14 executed civilians, presumably Yazidis.
According to an OHRCR/UNAMI report on 26 September, by the end of August, 1,600–1,800 or more Yazidis who had been murdered, executed, or died from starvation. In early October, Matthew Barber, a scholar of Yazidi history at the University of Chicago, estimated between 3,000–5,000 Yazidi men had been killed by ISIS.
In May 2015, the Yazidi Progress Party released a statement in which they said that 300 Yazidi captives were killed on 1 May by ISIL in the Tal Afar, Iraq.
A 2017 survey by the PLOS Medicine journal significantly decreased the number of Yazidis killed however concurrently raised the number abducted with 2,100 to 4,400 deaths and 4,200 to 10,800 abductions.
In several villages, local Sunnis were reported to have sided with ISIL, betraying Yazidis for slaughter once ISIL arrived, and even possibly colluding in advance with ISIL to lie to Yazidis, to lure them into staying put until the terrorists invaded; although there was also one report of Sunnis helping Yazidis to escape.
Slave market process
On 3 August, ISIL abducted women and children from the al-Qahtaniya area, and 450–500 abducted Yazidi women and girls were taken to Tal Afar; hundreds more to Si Basha Khidri and then Ba'aj. When ISIL fighters attacked Jabal Sinjar on 4 August, they abducted a number of women in the Yazidi village of Hardan, wives and daughters were abducted; other Yazidi women were abducted in other villages in the area. On 6 August, ISIL kidnapped 400 Yazidi women in Sinjar to sell them as sex slaves. According to reports from surviving Yazidi, between 3 and 6 August 500 Yazidi women and children were abducted from Ba'aj and more than 200 from Tal Banat. According to a statement by the Iraqi government on 10 August 2014, hundreds of women were taken as slaves in northern Iraq. On 15 August, in the Yazidi village of Kojo, south of Sinjar, over 100 women were abducted, though according to some reports from survivors, up to 1,000 women and children of the Yazidi village of Khocho were abducted. According to an OHRCR/UNAMI report on 26 September, by the end of August up to 2,500 Yazidis, mostly women and children, had been abducted. In early October, Matthew Barber, a scholar of Yazidi history at the University of Chicago, compiled a list of names of 4,800 Yazidi women and children who had been captured (estimating the total number of abducted people to be possibly up to 7,000).
The abducted Yazidi women were sold into slave markets with ISIL "using rape as a weapon of war" according to CNN, with the group having gynaecologists ready to examine the captives. Yazidi women were physically observed, including examinations to see if they were "virgins" or if they were pregnant. Women who were found to be pregnant were taken by the ISIL gynaecologists and forced abortions were performed on them.
Haleh Esfandiari from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars highlighted the abuse of local women by ISIL militants after they have captured an area. "They usually take the older women to a makeshift slave market and try to sell them. The younger girls ... are raped or married off to fighters", she said, adding, "It's based on temporary marriages, and once these fighters have had sex with these young girls, they just pass them on to other fighters."
Speaking of Yazidi women captured by ISIS, Nazand Begikhani said in October 2014, "These women have been treated like cattle... They have been subjected to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery. They've been exposed in markets in Mosul and in Raqqa, Syria, carrying price tags." Yazidi girls in Iraq allegedly raped by ISIL fighters have committed suicide by jumping to their death from Mount Sinjar, as described in a witness statement.
A United Nations report issued on 2 October 2014, based on 500 interviews with witnesses, said that ISIL took 450–500 women and girls to Iraq's Nineveh region in August where "150 unmarried girls and women, predominantly from the Yazidi and Christian communities, were reportedly transported to Syria, either to be enslaved to ISIL fighters as a 'reward' or to be sold as sex slaves". Also in October 2014, a UN report revealed that ISIL had detained 5,000 to 7,000 Yazidi women as slaves or forced brides in northern Iraq in August 2014.
On 4 November 2014, Dr. Widad Akrawi of Defend International said that "the international community should define what's happening to the Yezidis as a crime against humanity, crime against cultural heritage of the region and ethnic cleansing," adding that Yazidi females are being "subjected to as systematic gender-based violence and the use of slavery and rape as a weapon of war." A month earlier, President of Defend International dedicated her 2014 International Pfeffer Peace Award to the Yazidis, Christians and all residents of Kobane because, she said, facts on the ground demonstrate that these peaceful people are not safe in their enclaves, partly because of their ethnic origin and/or religion and they are therefore in urgent need for immediate attention from the global community. She asked the international community to make sure that the victims are not forgotten; they should be rescued, protected, fully assisted and compensated fairly.
In June 2017, reports from Vian Dakhil of the Iraqi parliament told of a captured sex slave being fed her own one-year-old child. The woman was starved for three days in a cellar and was finally given a meal by her captors. When finished, they said "We cooked your one-year-old son that we took from you, and this is what you just ate".
On 3 November 2014, the "price list" for Yazidi and Christian females issued by ISIL surfaced online, and Dr. Widad Akrawi and her team were the first to verify the authenticity of the document. On 4 November 2014, a translated version of the document was shared by Dr. Akrawi. On 4 August 2015, the same document was confirmed as genuine by a UN official.
Writing in mid 2016, Lori Hinnant, Maya Alleruzzo and Balint Szlanko of the Associated Press report that ISIL has tightened "its grip on the estimated 3,000 women and girls held as sex slaves" even while it loses territory to Iraqi forces. ISIL sells the women on encrypted smart phone apps, "primarily on Telegram and on Facebook" and to a lesser degree on WhatsApp. In advertisements for the girls obtained by AP
many of the women and girls are dressed in finery, some in heavy makeup. All look directly at the camera, standing in front of overstuffed chairs or brocade curtains in what resembles a shabby hotel ballroom. Some are barely out of elementary school. Not one looks older than 30.
As Western-backed forces closed in on Raqqa in July 2017, reports from the wives of ISIL members shared on an Arabic program were released. One wife stated that on encrypted apps, "They were sharing photos of the sex slaves with the best make-up and clothes, and asking $2,000 for this one, $3,000 for that one. A virgin cost $10,000". They contested statements by former Yazidi captives, saying that "the sex slaves were lavished with gifts including expensive lipstick and clothes". Many wives were jealous of the Yazidi sex slaves, leaving their husbands and when they were provided aid by refugee services in the area, "the wives of the jihadis showed little emotion over the atrocities committed in Syria".
In November 2014 The New York Times reported on the accounts given by five who escaped ISIL of their captivity and abuse.
According to Mirza Danai, founder of the German-Iraqi aid organization Luftbrucke Irak, ISIL registers "every slave, every person under their owner, and therefore if she escapes, every Daesh [ISIL] control or checkpoint, or security force - they know that this girl ... has escaped from this owner". For over a year after the girls were first enslaved, "Arab and Kurdish smugglers managed to free an average of 134" slaves a month. But by May 2016, an ISIL "crackdown reduced those numbers to just 39 in the last six weeks, according to figures provided by the Kurdistan regional government". ISIL fighters have been targeting and "assassinating smugglers who rescue the captives". At the same time the funds to buy the women out of slavery provided by the Kurdish regional government "are drying up," as a result of the collapse in the price of oil and disputes with Iraq's central government over revenues.
In its digital magazine Dabiq, ISIL explicitly claimed religious justification for enslaving Yazidi women.
According to The Wall Street Journal, ISIL appeals to apocalyptic beliefs and claims "justification by a Hadith that they interpret as portraying the revival of slavery as a precursor to the end of the world". In late 2014, ISIL released a pamphlet on the treatment of female slaves. The New York Times said in August 2015 that "[t]he systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution."
Flight into Sinjar Mountains and PKK's support
The ISIL offensive in the Sinjar area of northern Iraq, 3–4 August, caused 30,000–50,000 Yazidis to flee into the Sinjar Mountains (Jabal Sinjar) fearing they would be killed by ISIL. They had been threatened with death if they refused conversion to Islam. A UN representative said that "a humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in Sinjar".
On 3 and 4 August 14 or more Yazidi children and some elderly or people with disabilities died of hunger, dehydratation, and heat on Sinjar Mountains. By 6 August, according to reports from survivors, 200 Yazidi children while fleeing to Jabal Sinjar had died from thirst, starvation, heat and dehydratation.
Fifty thousand Yazidis, besieged by ISIL on Mount Sinjar, were able to escape after Kurdish People's Protection Units and PKK broke ISIL siege on the mountains. Majority of them were rescued by Kurdish PKK and YPG fighters. Multinational rescue operation involved dropping of supplies on the mountains and evacuation of some refugees by helicopters. During the rescue operation, on 12 August, an overloaded Iraqi Air Force helicopter crashed on Mount Sinjar, killing Iraqi Air Force Major General Majid Ahmed Saadi (the pilot) and injuring 20 people.
By 20 October, 2,000 Yazidis, mainly volunteer fighters, who had remained behind to protect the villages, but also civilians (700 families who had not yet escaped), were reported as still in the Sinjar area, and were forced by ISIL to abandon the last villages in their control, Dhoula and Bork, and retreat to the Sinjar Mountains.
In an article by The Washington Post, it is stated that there is an estimated 7,000 Yazidis who had been forced to convert to "the Islamic State group's harsh interpretation of Islam". Yazidi boys were taken to Raqqa, Syria to be trained to fight for ISIL, with some being forced to fight as U.S.-led forces closed in on the group.
Return of Yazidi population
Following ISIL's retreat from Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the region during late-2017 campaigns, both governments laid claim to the area. The Yazidi population, with only about 15% returning to Sinjar during the period, was caught in the political crossfire. Yazidi's returned to an abandoned town of crumbling buildings, leftover IEDs and the remains of those killed during the massacre.
Classification as genocide
The persecution of the Yazidi people has been viewed as qualifying as genocide by groups such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in a March 2015 report. The organization cited the numerous atrocities such as forced religious conversion and sexual slavery as being parts of an overall malicious campaign.
On 14 March 2016, the United States House of Representatives voted unanimously 393-0 that violent actions performed against Yazidis, Christians, Shia and other groups by ISIL were acts of genocide. Days later on 17 March 2016, United States Secretary of State John Kerry declared that the violence initiated by ISIL against the Yazidis and others amounted to genocide.
Multiple individual human rights activists such as Nazand Begikhani and Dr. Widad Akrawi have also advocated for this view. The term itself first arose in 1944 as the creation of a Polish-Jewish lawyer named Raphael Lemkin, who himself defined the term as reflecting "a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves."
Releases of Yazidi captives
In January 2015, about 200 Yazidis were released by ISIL. Kurdish military officials believed they were released because they were a burden. On 8 April 2015, 216 Yazidis, with the majority being children and elderly, were released by ISIL after being held captive for about 8 months. Their release occurred following an offensive by U.S.-led air assaults and pressure from Iraqi ground forces who were pushing northward and in the process of retaking Tikrit. According to General Hiwa Abdullah, a peshmerga commander in Kirkuk, those released were in poor health with signs of abuse and neglect visible.
In March 2016, the militant group Kurdistan Workers' Party managed to free 51 Yazidis held hostages by ISIL in an operation called 'Operation Vengeance for Martyrs of Shilo' Three Kurdistan Workers' Party guerrillas died during the operation.
In April 2016, the Kurdistan Workers' Party with the Sinjar Resistance Units managed to free another 53 Yazidis held hostages by ISIL.
Western military intervention
On 7 August 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama ordered targeted airstrikes on IS militants and emergency air relief for the Yazidis. Airstrikes began on 8 August. (See American-led intervention in Iraq (2014–present)#Obama authorizes airstrikes.)
President Barack Obama had authorized the attacks to protect Yazidis but also Americans and Iraqi minorities. President Obama gave an assurance that no troops would be deployed for combat. Along with the airstrikes of 9 August, the US airdropped 3,800 gallons of water and 16,128 MREs. Following these actions, the United Kingdom and France stated that they also would begin airdrops.
On 10 August 2014, at approximately 2:15 a.m. ET, the US carried out five additional airstrikes on armed vehicles and a mortar position, enabling 20,000–30,000 Yazidi Iraqis to flee into Syria and later be rescued by Kurdish forces. The Kurdish forces then provided shelter for the Yazidis in Dohuk.
On 13 August 2014, fewer than 20 United States Special Forces troops stationed in Irbil along with British Special Air Service troops visited the area near Mount Sinjar to gather intelligence and plan the evacuation of approximately 30,000 Yazidis still trapped on Mount Sinjar. One hundred and twenty-nine additional US military personnel were deployed to Irbil to assess and provide a report to President Obama. The United States Central Command also reported that a seventh airdrop was conducted and that to date, 114,000 meals and more than 35,000 gallons of water had been airdropped to the displaced Yazidis in the area.
In a statement on 14 August 2014, The Pentagon said that the 20 US personnel who had visited the previous day had concluded that a rescue operation was probably unnecessary since there was less danger from exposure or dehydration and the Yazidis were no longer believed to be at risk of attack from ISIL. Estimates also stated that 4,000 to 5,000 people remained on the mountain, with nearly half of which being Yazidi herders who lived there before the siege.
Kurdish officials and Yazidi refugees stated that thousands of young, elderly, and disabled individuals on the mountain were still vulnerable, with the governor of Kurdistan's Dahuk province, Farhad Atruchi, saying that the assessment was "not correct" and that although people were suffering, "the international community is not moving".
United Nations – On 13 August 2014, the United Nations declared the Yazidi crisis a highest-level "Level 3 Emergency", saying that the declaration "will facilitate mobilization of additional resources in goods, funds and assets to ensure a more effective response to the humanitarian needs of populations affected by forced displacements". On 19 March 2015, a United Nations panel concluded that ISIL "may have committed" genocide against the Yazidis with an investigation head, Suki Nagra, stating that the attacks on the Yazidis "were not just spontaneous or happened out of the blue, they were clearly orchestrated". Arab League – On 11 August 2014, the Arab League accused ISIL of committing crimes against humanity by persecuting the Yazidis.
- Defend International – On 6 September 2014, Defend International launched a worldwide campaign entitled "Save The Yazidis: The World Has To Act Now" to raise awareness about the tragedy of the Yazidis in Sinjar; coordinate activities related to intensifying efforts aimed at rescuing Yazidi and Christian women and girls captured by ISIL; provide a platform for discussion and the exchange of information on matters and activities relevant to securing the fundamental rights of the Yazidis, no matter where they reside; and building a bridge between potential partners and communities whose work is relevant to the campaign, including individuals, groups, communities, and organizations active in the areas of women's and girls' rights, inter alia, as well as actors involved in ending modern-day slavery and violence against women and girls.
Thousands of Yazidis have taken refuge in neighboring Turkey, where they are being sheltered in refugee camps in the Turkish city of Silopi. The Turkish Disaster Relief Agency (AFAD) has begun preparations to set up camps for receiving 6,000 refugees from Iraq. The number of Yazidi refugees in Turkey had reached 14 thousand by 30 August.
Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman claimed Turkey has also airdropped humanitarian aid to Yazidi refugees within Iraq, but Kurdish authorities didn't confirm humanitarian aid.
Armenia became the first nation to recognise the crime against humanity perpetrated by ISIL.
- Elise Labott; Tal Kopan (17 March 2016). "John Kerry: ISIS responsible for genocide". CNN. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- Cetorelli, Valeria (9 May 2017). "Mortality and kidnapping estimates for the Yazidi population in the area of Mount Sinjar, Iraq, in August 2014: A retrospective household survey". PLOS Medicine. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002297. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- Aris Roussinos. "'Everywhere Around Is the Islamic State': On the Road in Iraq with YPG Fighters". VICE News.
- Humeyra Pamuk (26 August 2014). "Smugglers and Kurdish militants help Iraq's Yazidis flee to Turkey". Reuters.
- Tracey Shelton. "'If it wasn't for the Kurdish fighters, we would have died up there'". GlobalPost.
- Ivan Watson and Greg Botelho, CNN (10 August 2014). "Yazidi survivor recalls horror of evading ISIS, death - CNN.com". CNN.
- "Islamic State Killed 500 Yazidis, Buried Some Victims Alive". Huffington Post. 10 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- "UN accuses the "Islamic State" in the genocide of the Yazidis" (in Russian). BBC Russian Service/BBC. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "The UN has blamed "Islamic State" in the genocide of the Yazidis". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Hopkins, Steve (14 October 2014). "Full horror of the Yazidis who didn't escape Mount Sinjar: UN confirms 5,000 men were executed and 7,000 women are now kept as sex slaves". London: The Daily Mail. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- Arraf, Jane (7 August 2014). "Islamic State persecution of Yazidi minority amounts to genocide, UN says". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
- Blair, David (6 June 2015). "Isil's Yazidi 'mass conversion' video fails to hide brutal duress". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
- "Yazidis who suffered genocide are fleeing again, but this time not from the Islamic State". EOS. 25 March 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
- "ISIS Terror: One Yazidi's Battle to Chronicle the Death of a People". MSNBC. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Why Does ISIS Consider the Yazidi 'Devil Worshippers'?". Ultra Culture. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- The Devil Worshipers of the Middle East: Their Beliefs & Sacred Books Holmes Pub Group LLC (December 1993); ISBN 1-55818-231-4/ISBN 978-1-55818-231-8
- Staff (9 August 2014). "Islamic State militants tell 300 Yazidi families: convert or die". News.yahoo.com. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- Evliya Çelebi, The Intimate Life of an Ottoman Statesman: Melek Ahmed Pasha (1588–1662), Translated by Robert Dankoff, 304 pp., SUNY Press, 1991; ISBN 0-7914-0640-7, pp. 169–171
- Edip Gölbasi, The Yezidis and the Ottoman State: Modern power, military conscription, and conversion policies, 1830-1909 (Master's Thesis: Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History, 2008). See also: Nelida Fuccaro, 'Communalism and the State in Iraq: The Yazidi Kurds, c.1869-1940", Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 35, No. 2 (April 1999), p. 6
- "Al-Qaeda blamed for Yazidi carnage". The Scotsman. 16 August 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- Sly, Liz (10 August 2014). "Exodus from the mountain: Yazidis flood into Iraq following US airstrikes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Khalel, Sheren; Vickery, Matthew (12 December 2014). "Playing Dead: How one man survived an IS massacre". Middle East Eye.
- David Stout (6 August 2014). "Be Captured and Killed, or Risk Dying of Thirst: The Awful Choice Facing the Refugees of Sinjar". TIME.com. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- "UN Security Council condemns attacks by Iraqi jihadists". BBC News. 7 August 2014. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- Levs, Josh (7 August 2014). "Will anyone stop ISIS?". CNN. Archived from the original on 7 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
- Packer, George (6 August 2014). "A Friend Flees the Horror of ISIS". The New Yorker. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Iraq: 6 July – 10 September 2014. UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Retrieved 4 April 2015.
- Adam Withnall (10 August 2014). "Iraq crisis: Islamic militants 'buried alive Yazidi women and children in attack that killed 500'". London: The Independent. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- "Islamisté povraždili 500 jezídů, ženy a děti zaživa pohřbili, tvrdí Bagdád". Novinky.cz. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- Rasheed, Ahmed (10 August 2014). "Exclusive: Iraq says Islamic State killed 500 Yazidis, buried some victims alive". Reuters. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Chulov, Martin (11 August 2014). "Yazidis tormented by fears for women and girls kidnapped by Isis jihadis". Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Joshi, Priya (8 August 2014). "Iraq Crisis: Hundreds of Yazidi Women Held as Slaves by Islamic State Militants". International Business Times. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- "ISIL killed 500 Yazidis, took 300 women as slaves: Iraq govt". 11 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Rasheed, Ahmed (11 August 2014). "Islamic State kills 500 Yazidis, burying some alive, says human rights minister". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Yacoub, Sameer N. "Iraq Official: Militants Hold 100s of Yazidi Women". abc news. Associated Press. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- "Islamic State forces kill hundreds of Yazidi minority in Iraq threaten Kurdish capital". The Jerusalem Post. Reuters. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Gander, Kashmira (8 August 2014). "Iraq crisis: Hundreds of Yazidi women taken captive by Islamic State militants". London: The Independent. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Krohn, Jonathan (10 August 2014). "Iraq crisis: 'It is death valley. Up to 70 per cent of them are dead'". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Coren, Anna; Carter, Chelsea J. "Report: U.S. airstrikes carried out as part of Iraqi effort to retake Mosul Dam". CNN. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
- Zavadski, Katie. "ISIS Just Killed 80 More Yazidis in an Iraqi Village". New York Magazine. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
- Reuters Reporter (6 June 2015). "How just one man's 'No' to ISIS triggered massacre and kidnapping of an entire Yazidi village". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
- Hopkins, Steve (14 October 2014). "Full horror of the Yazidis who didn't escape Mount Sinjar: UN confirms 5,000 men were executed and 7,000 women are now kept as sex slaves". London: The Daily Mail.
- "Islamic State: Militants 'kill 300 Yazidi captives'". BBC News. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
- Ahmed, Azam (27 August 2014). "For Yazidis Betrayed by Arab Neighbors, 'It Will Never Be the Same'". New York Times. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- ""داعش" يختطف اكثر من 400 امرأة ايزيدية في سنجار ويوزعهن على معسكرين لممارسة "جهاد النكاح"". Almasalah.com. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- Shubert, Atika; Naik, Bharati (6 October 2015). "ISIS 'forced pregnant Yazidi women to have abortions'". CNN. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- Brekke, Kira (8 September 2014). "ISIS Is Attacking Women, And Nobody Is Talking About It". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- Ivan Watson, "'Treated like cattle': Yazidi women sold, raped, enslaved by ISIS", cnn.com, 30 October 2014.
- Ahmed, Havidar (14 August 2014). "The Yezidi Exodus, Girls Raped by ISIS Jump to their Death on Mount Shingal". Rudaw Media Network. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- Nebehay, Stephanie (2 October 2014). "Islamic State committing 'staggering' crimes in Iraq: U.N. report". Reuters. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- Spencer, Richard (14 October 2014). "Isil carried out massacres and mass sexual enslavement of Yazidis, UN confirms". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Dr Widad Akrawi Interviewed at RojNews: How should the international community classify the systematic massacre of the Yezidi civilians in Sinjar by IS jihadists that included taking Yezidi girls as sex slaves". Archived from the original on 28 October 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- "Dr Widad Akrawi awarded International Pfeffer Peace Prize". Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "Dr. Widad Akrawi Receives the Pfeffer Peace Award". Archived from the original on 19 October 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- "Dr Akrawi Dedicated Peace Award to Yezidis, Christians and Kobane". Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- "Dr. Widad Akrawi Barış ödülünü Kobanê ve Şengal'e adadı". Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "Peace award dedicated to Kobanî and Şengal". Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "Dr. Widad Akrawi Xelata Aştiyê pêşkêşî Kobanê û Şengalê hat kirin". Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "Xelata Aştiyê diyarî Kobanê hat kirin". Archived from the original on 20 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "Save The Yazidis: The World Has To Act Now". Retrieved 29 September 2015.
- "Report: ISIS fed unsuspecting Yazidi sex slave her own child". AOL.com. 27 June 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- "IS "Price List" For Yazidi And Christian Females Verified By UN Official". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Isis Price List For Yazidi And Christian Females As Young As One Confirmed As Genuine By UN Official". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
"ISIS Executes 19 Girls For Refusing Sex With Its Fighters". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
"Isis Price List for Yazidi & Christian females as young as one confirmed genuine by UN Official". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "ISIS executes 19 girls for refusing to have sex with fighters as UN envoy reveals how sex slaves are 'peddled like barrels of petrol'". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "ISIS executes 19 girls for refusing to have sex with fighters". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "'The Girls Get Peddled Like Barrels of Petrol:' U.N. Official Confirms Nauseating 'Price List' for Islamic State Sex Slaves". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "ISIS Circulates Sex Slave Price List And Executes 19 Girls For Refusing Sex With Fighters". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "ISIS'S DESPICABLE 'PRICE LIST' FOR YAZIDI AND CHRISTIAN SLAVES". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "19 Girls Executed for Refusing to have Sex with ISIS Fighters". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
"Yazidi sex slave who claims she was raped by 'American teacher turned ISIS jihadi' to testify to Congress". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "UN Representative confirms ISIS have institutionalised sexual brutalisation of women". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
"11-year-old ISIS sex slave used as a human shield". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
"Islamic State murders 19 girls for refusing sex with jihadis, peddles sex slaves like "barrels of petrol"". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
"Horrific treatment of 11-year-old Yazidi sex slave forced to protect her depraved ISIS captor from gunfire". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "Isis 'price list' for child slaves confirmed as genuine by UN official Zainab Bangura". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- "19 girls were executed by ISIS for refusing to have sex with the jihadists, UN recovered a price list of Yazidi girls". Archived from the original on 9 September 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- Hinnant, Lori; Alleruzzo, Maya; Szlanko, Balint (5 July 2016). "Islamic State tightens grip on captives held as sex slaves". Washington Post. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- O'Brien, Zoie (3 July 2017). "Horror of ISIS sex slave app: Virgins put on sale by twisted jihadis". Daily Express. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- Kirk Semple, "Yazidi Girls Seized by ISIS Speak Out After Escape," The New York Times, 14 November 2014.
- "Islamic State Seeks to Justify Enslaving Yazidi Women and Girls in Iraq". Newsweek. Reuters. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Athena Yenko, "Judgment Day Justifies Sex Slavery Of Women – ISIS Out With Its 4th Edition Of Dabiq Magazine," Archived 18 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine. International Business Times-Australia, 13 October 2014.
- Allen McDuffee, "ISIS Is Now Bragging About Enslaving Women and Children", The Atlantic, 13 October 2014.
- Salma Abdelaziz, "ISIS states its justification for the enslavement of women", CNN, 13 October 2014.
- Spencer, Richard (13 October 2014). "Thousands of Yazidi women sold as sex slaves 'for theological reasons', says Isil". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Slavery in Islam: To have and to hold - The Economist". The Economist. 18 October 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- Nour Malas, "Ancient Prophecies Motivate Islamic State Militants: Battlefield Strategies Driven by 1,400-year-old Apocalyptic Ideas", The Wall Street Journal, 18 November 2014; accessed 22 November 2014.
- Amelia Smith, "ISIS Publishes Pamphlet On How to Treat Female Slaves", Newsweek, 9 December 2014.
- Abul Taher, "Our faith condones raping underage slaves: ISIS publishes shocking guidebook telling fighters how to buy, sell and abuse captured women", Daily Mail, 13 December 2014.
- Greg Botelho, "ISIS: Enslaving, having sex with 'unbelieving' women, girls is OK", CNN, 13 December 2014.
- Katharine Lackey, "Pamphlet provides Islamic State guidelines for sex slaves", USA Today, 13 December 2014.
- Carey Lodge, "Islamic State issues abhorrent sex slavery guidelines about how to treat women", Christianity Today, 15 December 2014.
- Adam Withnall, "Isis releases 'abhorrent' sex slaves pamphlet with 27 tips for militants on taking, punishing and raping female captives", The Independent, 10 December 2014.
- Callimachi, Rukmini (13 August 2015). "ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- Salih, Mohammed; van Wilgenburg, Wladimir (5 August 2014). "Iraqi Yazidis: 'If we move they will kill us'". Aljazeera. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- "PKK 'terrorists' crucial to fight against Isis". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "They're saving Yazidis yet ignored by the US—why?". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "PKK saved us when peshmergas ran away: Yazidis". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "Smugglers and Kurdish militants help Iraq's Yazidis flee to Turkey". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "Yazidi Refugees Recount Desperate Struggle To Flee Islamist Militants In Iraq". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "A U.S.-designated terrorist group is saving Yazidis and battling the Islamic State". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "Kurds unite to fight militants, rescue 30,000 Yazidi civilians". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "The Drama of Sinjar: Escaping the Islamic State in Iraq". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- "Australian photographer on board crashed overloaded Iraqi helicopter". Mail Online. London. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "General Majid, Who Gave His Life For Others". The American Conservative. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- Morris, Loveday (20 October 2014). "Islamic State seizes two Yazidi villages as it advances on Mount Sinjar". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "UN: Assault on Yazidis may be genocide attempt". The Washington Post. 21 October 2014. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- "Yazidi teenager captured by Isis says they were planning 'big, big attack' on Europe". The Independent. 6 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
- The Independent
- Jalabi, Raya (10 December 2017). "Yazidis caught in 'political football' between Baghdad, Iraqi Kurds". Reuters. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- "Yazidi mass grave found in Iraq's Sinjar". Mail Online. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- "Two Yazidi Mass Graves Reportedly Uncovered in Iraq". Al Bawaba. 16 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- "UN: ISIS May Have Committed Genocide Against Yazidis". Huffington Post. 19 March 2015.
- Labott, Elise (17 March 2016). "U.S. to declare genocide in Iraq and Syria". CNN. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Quick Links". CNN.
- "What Is Genocide?". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- Yacoub, Sameer N. (8 April 2015). "Islamic State releases over 200 Iraqi Yazidis after 8 months as captives". Toronto. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- Reuters Editorial (16 March 2016). "Iraqi forces free group of Yazidi women from Islamic State: ministry". Reuters.
- The New Arab. "Iraqi forces free Yazidi women held by IS". alaraby.
- "53 more Êzîdîs freed from ISIS". Retrieved 2 April 2016.
- Noack, Rick (8 August 2014). "When Obama talks about Iraq, his use of the word 'genocide' is vital". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- J. Carter, Chelsea; Tawfeeq, Mohammed; Starr, Barbara (9 August 2014). "Officials: U.S. airstrikes pound ISIS militants firing at Iraq's Yazidis". CNN. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- "Thousands of Yazidis rescued, Iraqi official says". CNN. 10 August 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- Siddique, Haroon (10 August 2014). "20,000 Iraqis besieged by Isis escape from mountain after US air strikes". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- Chulov, Martin; Borger, Julian; Norton-Taylor, Richard; Roberts, Dan (13 August 2014). "US troops land on Iraq's Mt Sinjar to plan for Yazidi evacuation". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- "Aug. 13: Update on Humanitarian Assistance Operations Near Sinjar, Iraq". United States Central Command. United States Central Command. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- DeYoung, Karen; Whitlock, Craig (14 August 2014). "Rescue mission for Yazidis on Iraq's Mount Sinjar appears unnecessary, Pentagon says". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- Sly, Liz; Whitlock, Craig (14 August 2014). "Most Yazidis have been rescued from a besieged mountain in northern Iraq". The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- "UN declares highest-level humanitarian emergency in Iraq as clashes erupt near Baghdad". Fox News. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "UN Declares a 'Level 3 Emergency' for Iraq to Ensure More Effective Humanitarian Response". United Nations Iraq. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- Cumming-Bruce, Nick (19 March 2015). "ISIS Suspected of Genocide Against Yazidis in Iraq, U.N. Panel Says". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
- "Mid Day News – 11/08/2014 - التطورات في العراق". YouTube. 11 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- Addamah, Steven (12 August 2014). "MENA: Arab league accuses ISIS of "crimes against humanity"". Medafrica times. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- "Artist Jane Adams invited to join Save The Yazidis campaign". Retrieved 29 September 2015.
- Dingemans, Guido (9 August 2014). "Iraqi Yezidi refugees flee to Turkey to escape ISIS militants". Demotix.com. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- music66 (7 August 2014). "Turkey Gives Sanctuary to Hundreds of Yazidis Fleeing Iraq". Naharnet.com. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- "IŞİD 150 Bin Kişiyi Yerinden Etti". Aktif Haber. 11 August 2014. Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- Hürriyet newspaper, 31 August 2014. P.8.
- "Davutoğlu: Turkish aid air-dropped to Yazidis in Sinjar mountains". Today's Zaman. 7 August 2014. Archived from the original on 16 August 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- "Armenia Recognises Genocide of Yazidis in Iraq". Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- Fears of vicious plans for hundreds of Yazidi 'slave' women captured by ISIS fanatics in Iraq
- The Islamic State, Vice News report (segment featuring Yazidi refugees starts at 39:50)
- "Aftermath of a genocide—Yazidis of Sinjar". Close Up — The Current Affairs Documentary. 2018-07-07. Deutsche Welle TV.