About four years ago, in August 2014, ISIS began slaughtering the Yezidis in Iraq and committed a genocide against this ancient community, massacring over 5,000, abducting 7,450 women and girls who were then sold into sexual slavery and driving over 500,000 out of their ancestral homes. Although the Yezidi genocide has received widespread international recognition due to the indisputable evidence that has been presented including the existence of mass graves, witness testimonies and ISIS publications online inciting against Yezidis and documenting massacres of them, four years on, the Yezidis have not yet received justice for the horrific atrocities that were committed against them. The question remains, why is this the case and when will there be justice for the Yezidi people?
In Iraq and Syria, where the crimes of the Yezidi genocide were perpetrated, it is unlikely that the Yezidi victims will get justice. In Syria, rebels allied with Turkey have destroyed Yezidi holy sites and forcefully converted Yezidis in Afrin to Islam. There are also reports of Yezidis being forced to wear the hijab in these areas. So far, Turkey’s allies have been able to act against the Yezidis in Afrin with impunity, without any interference from the outside world.