- Title: Many Yazidis still fear returning to Sinjar
- Date: 2nd August 2017
- Summary: SINJAR, IRAQ, (AUGUST 2, 2017) (REUTERS) DAMAGED BUILDING / RUBBLE STREET IN TOWN / KURDISH FLAG VARIOUS OF DAMAGED BUILDINGS (SOUNDBITE) (Kurdish) COMMANDER OF ASAYISH (KURDISH INTELLIGENCE AGENCY), GENERAL ASHTE KOCHAT, SAYING: "It has been almost three years since the events transpired, as you know on August 3, 2014, Islamic State had controlled this area completely. But thanks to the heroic peshmerga forces, and the sacrifice of more than 600 martyrs and thousands of injuries, we were able to liberate Sinjar." DEBRIS OF DESTROYED BUILDING STREET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LOCAL LEADER, JALAL KHALAF, SAYING: "The refugee families that have returned to their homes are around 986 families, or 10,000 individuals. What is discouraging the return of families to Sinjar is the political and party strife in the area." DAMAGED STORES WOMEN WALKING DOWN STREET CHILDREN SITTING ON PAVEMENT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SINJAR RESIDENT, FARHAN LAZJI, SAYING: "The reason is the services, they are not available here. There are no functioning hospitals, if we go to the hospital, there is no treatment, there are no schools, they can't provide us with enough water, no electricity, people who are here have no electricity in this heat." VARIOUS OF STORES (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SINJAR RESIDENT, ZEID WASHMO, SAYING: "People are frightened of Daesh (Islamic State) and their ideology. Tomorrow another power could come with the same ideology as Daesh, only God knows. We are definitely afraid, there have been 73 genocides against the Yazidis, how can we not be afraid?" ABANDONED STORES WRITING ON STORE SHUTTER READING (Arabic): "GOD IS GREAT" / ISLAMIC STATE'S FLAG PAINTED ON STORE'S SHUTTER CLOSE OF ISLAMIC STATE FLAG PAINTED ON STORE SHUTTER VARIOUS OF WRITINGS ON STORE SHUTTER READING (Arabic): "THE ISLAMIC STATE, THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH" VARIOUS OF DAMAGED BUILDINGS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PLAYING CARDS IN STREET VARIOUS OF CHILDREN AT PLAYGROUND
- Embargoed: 16th August 2017 18:13
- Keywords: Yazidis fear returning Sinjar
- Location: SINJAR, IRAQ
- City: SINJAR, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0016SGTBNR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The streets and playgrounds of the Iraqi town of Sinjar are once again seeing signs of life.
Hundreds of families have returned three years after Islamic State militants launched an assault on the Yazidi religious community's heartland in northern Iraq.
Sinjar was home to around 400,000 Yazidis. About 3,100 Yazidis were killed - with more than half shot, beheaded or burned alive - and about 6,800 kidnapped to become sex slaves or fighters, according to a report published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine, in May.
Thousands of captured men were killed in what a United Nations commission called a genocide against the Yazidis, a religious sect whose beliefs combine elements of several ancient Middle Eastern religions. Islamic State considers them devil-worshippers.
While some Yazidis have returned to their homes since the recapture of the city, thousands are yet to return.
A resident said the lack of infrastructure and facilities such as hospitals and schools are the reasons why the Yazidis refrain from returning. Another man said people fear similar hardline militant groups may recapture in the city in the future.
The designation of genocide, rare under international law, would mark the first recognised genocide carried out by non-state actors, rather than a state or paramilitaries acting on its behalf.
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