Today is a fateful anniversary that should be remembered throughout the world.
As Nina Shea, one of the world’s leading campaigners against genocide reminds us, in the summer of 2014, Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants attacked the city of Mosul and then continued an assault across the Nineveh Plains. They devastated the historic homelands of the Christian and Yezidis, displacing more than 100,000 people in a matter of days.
In the first week of August, ISIS began a brutal assault on the Yezidi community in the Shingal (Sinjar) region. In a few short days, the group had killed over 10,000 Yezidis. Another 6,417 were kidnapped, and many of them were sold into sexual slavery. In ensuing weeks, hundreds of Christians in towns across the Nineveh Plain who did not flee faced beheadings, crucifixion, sexual enslavement and forcible conversion.
Four years later, hundreds of thousands of Yezidis, Christians, and others are still displaced, unable to return securely to their homes. 3,000 Yezidi women and children and dozens of Christians remain missing. Iraq’s Christian community has been devastated, with 90 percent having fled the country since 2003. Those who have been rescued from ISIS are deeply traumatized from the experience, as are their families and communities.
What now needs to be done….