Five years following the Islamic State attacks
An estimated 2,908 Ezidis still unaccounted for

Duhok- Two female Ezidi students at Kani Spee school inside Kabartoo IDP camp, April 2019   Photo: Ammar Aziz

Ammar Aziz- Duhok

The fate of 2,908 Ezidis, among them 323 women kidnapped by the Islamic State (IS) group after it swept through Shingal (Sinjar) in August 2014 remains unknown. IS fighters had kidnapped an estimated 6,417 of the Ezidi religious community.

Hussein Qa’idi, head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s office tasked with rescuing Ezidi abductees said their office has been able to free 3,509 kidnapped Ezidis, while the rest are still unaccounted for.

On August 3, 2014, IS attacked the Ezidi’s ancestral land of Shingal west of Mosul, destroyed villages and 68 religious sites, slaughtered 1,293 people, before kidnapping thousands of women and children and trading them in slavery.

“We have been adopting a new plan to rescue those who might still in captivity. The plan is being worked on thoroughly,” Qa’idi told KirkukNow.

The Kurdistan Region parliament on Thursday August 1, 2019 debated the second reading for a bill under which the 3rd of August would be recognized as a day of remembrance of the genocide committed against the Ezidi community.

Hussein Qa’idi indicated that “so far 3,509 footages have been collected as evidence on the genocide of the people in Shingal.”

Meanwhile, Hadi Baba Sheikh, head of the office of the leader of the Ezidis’ supreme spiritual council said a high level delegation from the Ezidi community visited Syria’s Rojava cantons last March to search for Ezidi abductees. He added that the delegation is due to make another visit very soon.


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