The extent of the atrocities perpetrated against the Yazidi people in Iraq at the hands of ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, are only now coming to light as survivors of the violence speak out.
Literally tens of thousand of Yazidis fled their ancient homeland of Sinjar and other villages to escape a push by ISIS which regards the ethnic minority as devil worshippers who must embrace their radical version of Islam or die.
One villager, who is now a refugee, witnessed the atrocities first hand. Samo Ilyas Ali spoke about when he and his fellow villagers were surrounded by ISIS militants at night. He spoke about how he was told to dig holes in the ground: “We did not understand. Then they started to put people in those holes, those people were alive,” he said.
Ali, a former grocery shop owner, spoke also about how it was women and children that ISIS was targeting for the mass graves being dug: “After a while we heard gunfire. I can’t forget that scene. Women, children, crying for help. We had to run for our lives, there was nothing to be done for them,” he said.
In the village of Kawju alone some 80 Yazidis were massacred because they refused to convert to Islam, and numerous woman and children were abducted.
The Yazidi people are followers of an ancient religion derived from Zoroastrians and are are spread over northern Iraq and are part of the country’s Kurdish minority. Many of their villages were destroyed when Saddam Hussein’s troops tried to crush the Kurds. Some were taken away by the executed former dictator’s intelligence agents.
Another eyewitness to the brutality of ISIS, Dawud Hassan, a car mechanic, also spoke to reporters about what he saw: ‘They put women and children under the ground. They were alive. I still hear their screams. They were trying to keep their heads up to keep breathing,”
The recent success of ISIS in Iraq and Syria caught the Iraqi government, and the rest of the world by surprise. Now that the U.S. has begun bombing some ISIS positions, the Kurds, together with some elements of the Iraqi military, have recaptured territory. but for the massacred Yazidis and Christians it just a question of too little too late.
And all this in the name of religion, and for the glorification of “Allah.” Many believe that religion, any religion, is the greatest curse ever inflicted on mankind.
Now there is evidence to support that claim.