Iraqi Yazidis massacre villagers in Iraq

The Amnesty International releases statement concerning massacres by Yazidis carried out in Iraq

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Yazidis who suffered from atrocities carried out by ISIS have been accused of in turn massacring Sunni villagers, including physically disabled civilians and children, in revenge attacks in the north of Iraq.

Amnesty International is undertaking investigations about the alleged attacks executed on January 25 by a Yazidis militia in Jiri and Sibaya in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq.

The London-based human rights group released a statement which said, "Virtually not a single house was spared. Half of those killed were elderly or disabled men and women and children."

According to Amnesty at least 40 people were abducted, 17 of whom are still missing.

Amnesty spoke to other witnesses, among whom is a father who lost two sons in the attack on the town. Another 12-year-old son was shot four times in the back but survived, Reuters reported.

"We could not imagine the assailants would target the old and the sick but they did," an eyewitness told Reuters how his 66-year father was shot in his wheelchair.

"It is deeply troubling to see members of the Yazidi community, who have suffered so much at the hands of the ISIL [ISIS], now themselves committing such brutal crimes," Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's senior crisis adviser, said.

The Yazidis, a Kurdish religious minority which lives mainly in Iraq's Sinjar region, are seen as heretics by ISIS. Hundreds of Yazidis were massacred by ISIS fighters in 2014 while thousands of their girls and women were captured as spoils of war and allegedly used as sex slaves.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis were forced to flee, fearing ISIS atrocities against them. The UN has called ISIS’ attacks on them a genocide.

TRTWorld and agencies