Yezidis revive first anniversary of ISIS invasion into their region north Iraq

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Stranded Yezidi civilians in Mount Sinjar. File photo: ARA News

ARA News

Erbil, Kurdistan Region – On Sunday, hundreds of Yezidi Kurds took to the street in the city of Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, reviving the first anniversary of Shengal happenings, where extremists of Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) invaded Yezidi areas in northern Iraq. 

Another rally took place Sunday afternoon in the city of Sulaymaniyah to remember Yezidi victims of Shingal. 

Hundreds of Yezidis, who took shelter in the Kurdistan Region after escaping their areas that have been taken over by IS militants, participated in the demonstrations alongside dozens of civil society activists.

The protestors headed to the headquarters of the United Nations Mission to Iraq in central Erbil, to gain the sympathy of the international community.

“The international community hasn’t taken any action to protect Yezidis from IS terrorists,” said one of the demonstrators.

“The Kurdish Peshmerga forces, with the support of the U.S.-led coalition’s warplanes, carried out military operations to regain the areas controlled by terrorists,” a Yezidi activist told ARA News, pointing out that the city of Shingal was partially liberated, “but we hope to regain the other parts from the fist of IS terrorists.” 

The Islamic State group launched in August 2014 a massive offensive on Shingal area northwest of Iraq, which led to the displacement of tens of thousands of Yezidi civilians, and the captivity of thousands of women to be sold in IS-held slave markets. Furthermore, mass executions have been conducted by the group against Yezidi men, while dozens were obliged to convert to Islam and pledge allegiance to IS in order to survive.

Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri

Source: ARA News

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