Iraqi Yezidis: ‘better to commit suicide than being captured by IS militants’


Displaced Yezidi families in Syrian Kurdish area of Derik. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Amude, Syria – The majority of the displaced Yezidi families who escaped northern Iraq and took shelter in Syria are currently based in Newroz Camp near the city of Derik. However, the limited numbers of shelters available in the camp led some of those families to spread over the Kurdish-majority areas in northeastern Syria, such as Qamishli and Amude.

Two of those families are hosted by Syrian Yezidis in the countryside of Amude city of Hasakah province.

When ARA News met them, they were physically tired and signs of fear and fatigue were visible on their faces. One of the family members stated to ARA News: “In the beginning of the IS terrorist attack on our villages, the Peshmerga and Shingal youth stood  against them and prevented the first attack, but the ‘betrayal’ of one of the Peshmerga leaders who was responsible for protecting Shingal pushed us to withdrawal.”

“When IS terrorists entered our villages in Shingal, a state of panic spread among the Yezidi civilians and everyone started seeking for family members in preparation to escape. I could not find my parents at that moment. After crossing the border into Syria I tried to look for information about them, but I still know nothing about their destiny,” the 20-year old Yezidi girl told ARA News while tears filled her eyes.

A women from the other displaced family also talked to ARA News about her experience, saying that the main concern of Shingal’s Yezidis was the destiny of the young girls, “as terrorists of IS are known for taking young women as captives”.

“The girls were encouraging each other to throw themselves from the top of Mount Sinjar. So they preferred death to being captured by the Islamic State’s militants,” she said.

“One of the most horrible scenes I witnessed was the mass suicide of an entire family. A Yezidi man killed his wife and his two daughters and then shot himself dead; all of that to avoid being captured by IS terrorists,” she told ARA News.

“I escaped with my family members, leaving everything behind, ” She added.

Members of Amude’s local committee of the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC) visited the displaced families and provided them with some humanitarian aid.

Speaking to ARA News in Amude, Badi’ Mamo, a Yezidi member of the KNC said: “All Syrian Kurds are required to support the displaced Iraqi Yezidis. We need to show a full solidarity with Yezidi peers.”

“Although the financial resources are limited in our areas (northeastern Syria), we are doing our best to provide the displaced Yezidi families with all needs,” Mamo said.


Reporting by: Ferman Hussein

Source: ARA News

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