ISIS Executes Over 300 Yazidi Captives

Yazidis who were freed by Islamic State militants hug each other on the outskirts of Kirkuk, Iraq on April 8 -

Iraqi and Yazidi officials are reporting that 300 Yazidi captives were killed on Friday by Islamic State militants in the Tal Afar district near Mosul. Last year, thousands of members of the religious minority group were captured by Islamic State forces. Yazidis, whose religion includes elements of several faiths, are considered infidels by ISIS. Thousands fled to the Kurdish-controlled region of northern Iraq after IS captured the Yazidi-populated Sinjar district in Nineveh province. Hundreds of men were killed, while some Yazidi women were held and used as sex slaves.

Yazidis adhere to a centuries-old religion, with its origins in several faiths.

Yazidis adhere to a centuries-old religion, with its origins in several faiths. Photo Courtesy of AP.

Iraqi Vice-President Osama al-Nujaifi described the reported deaths as “horrific and barbaric”. The Yazidi Progress Party’s statement, quoted by the Kurdish Shafaq News website, condemned the latest incident as a “heinous crime” and called on Iraqi forces to free those still held by ISIS. BBC’s Middle East editor Alan Johnston said that it’s not clear how they were killed, or why this has happened now.

ISIS released some 200 mainly elderly Yazidis into the hands of Kurdish officials near the city of Kirkuk back in January. Many of them, held in Mosul, had disabilities or were wounded, though no reason was given by IS for their release. Kurdish Peshmerga forces drove back IS militants in north-western Iraq, relieving a long siege of Sinjar mountain where thousands of Yazidis had sought refuge back in December. Despite the push back against ISIS in recent months, many Yazidi villages are thought to remain under the militants’ control.

Jonathan Rugman’s report: IS ‘killed over 350 men’ in Yazidi massacre

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Joining the U.S. Air Force right out of high school, Jon had the opportunity to experience many different parts of the world and different cultures. His post military career path, both white collar and blue collar, allowed him to work alongside both CEOs and average Joes. "Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion." A passion that has taken him in many directions from explorations of the zombie subculture and writing zombie stories to politics and News. He is an avid "people watcher," political junkie and has a ravenous appetite for history and current events alike.