Female Snipers Fighting ISIS | Hell on Earth — National Geographic (04/06/2017)
Female Kurdish snipers fight side by side with men in the battle to retake the town of Sinjar (Shingal) in Iraq from ISIS. The city was fully retaken by an alliance of PKK, YPG and Peshmerga fighters supported by CJTF-OIR airpower in December 2015, during the operation code named ‘The Fury of Melek Taus’.
After ISIS fighters took the city and neighbouring towns in August 2014, they abducted and murdered thousands of Yazidi men and young boys in what has become known as the Sinjar Massacre (5.000 victims per UN). Thousands of Yazidi women and children were at the same time enslaved en masse and are still imprisoned and subjected to severe human rights violations such as rape or torture.
Today is the second year anniversary of the Kurdish Yezidi genocide, attacked by ISIS gangs!
The historic homeland of the Kurdish religious minority Yazidi, whose religion is based on Zoroastrianism. They tore down Yazidis places of worship, executed those who resisted, and forced a pledge of allegiance or death on the local people.
Close to 5000 Yazidis were murdered during the ISIS genocide, and around 200.000 people managed to escape. The 50.000 Yazidis who managed to flee to Shengal mountains were trapped without food, water or any medical attention. In this process, around 5 thousand Yazidi women and children were held captive. They were kept as spoils of war, sold as sex slaves, or given to ISIS commanders.
Those who refused to change their religion were tortured, raped and ultimately murdered. The babies born in prisons where the mothers were kept were forcibly taken away and condemned to a fate unknown.
The women raped by ISIS fighters jumped to their deaths from the Mount Shengal. Although many managed to escape or were saved, there are still 3 thousand women in the hands of ISIS.
3rd anniversary of the Sinjar Massacre and start of the Êzidî Genocide. On August 3rd 2014 ISIS attacked the Êzidîs in their homeland the Sinjar region following the systematic killing of Êzidî men, enslavement of women, abduction of children and the destruction of graveyards, holy places and property.
As one of the most horrible tragedies of the 21st century that is taking place to this day in which about 10.000 civilians were killed and kidnapped, the Êzidîs were confronted with two options: to convert to Islam or to die. The barbarian execution of Êzidî men and boys includes the documented massacre of Kocho where 418 boys and men were beheaded, shot or burried alive. Hundreds of older physically and mentally disabled people were burried alive and 15 burned in an Êzidî temple in Sinjar. The massacre was made possible as 12.000 KDP peshmerga left the Êzidîs without any protection or weapons to fight with after vowing to „defend Sinjar down to the last drop of blood“.
Hundreds of Êzidîs, predominantly children, died on the run or in the Sinjar mountains waiting out for more than 7 days without food or water in the burning heat for a safe corridor. Countless Êzidî mass graves have been found since the liberation of ISIS held areas.
More than 3200 Êzidîs are still held captive, majority women and children as young as 5 years old who are sold and divided among ISIS members as sex slaves, concubines and „spoils of war“, traded like animals for 5-10 US-Dollars.
Êzidî children are radicalised in IS-training camps where Islamic teachings are forced on them under the threat and practice of violence with the aim to form future fighters. Stories of daily physical abuse and rape are being recount by those who could be liberated. Among the freed are young Êzidî girls as young as 9 years old who return to their families pregnant to be living in refugee camps under horrible conditions. Hundreds of Êzidî girls and women committed suicide either in IS-captivity or during their escape due to immense mental and physical abuse.
The massacre and on-going genocide leaves deep scars on the Êzidî collective with no proper recognition of the international community to this day. Efforts to provide physical and mental rehabilitation for the deeply traumatized are only made intra-community and going slowly. To this day Êzidîs struggle to make their voices heard, to deal with their traumas and to bring the responsible to justice.