Islamic State jihadists massacred Yazidis when they refused to convert, abducted wives and children in Iraq

Yazidis ‘massacred’ by jihadists in northern Iraq village: reports

 Islamic State militants execute group of Yazidis at surrounded village after giving them option to convert or die as airstrikes hit captured dam
Associated Press in Arbil, Iraq

Islamist extremists in Iraq killed 80 Yazidi men and abducted their wives and children, witnesses said yesterday, insisting the religious community was still at risk after a week of US and Iraqi airstrikes on the militants.

Airstrikes, meanwhile, targeted insurgents around Iraq’s largest dam, which was captured by the Islamic State extremist group earlier this month, according to nearby residents. It was not clear who carried out the strikes.

The United States began launching airstrikes against Islamic State a week ago, in part to prevent the massacre of tens of thousands of Yazidis stranded on a mountaintop. After most were able to escape with the help of Kurdish fighters, US President Barack Obama took credit for alleviating the threat of genocide.

But on Friday Islamic State fighters who had surrounded the nearby village of Kocho 12 days ago, demanding its Yazidi residents convert or die, moved in.

Displaced Iraqi families from the Yazidi community rest after crossing the Iraqi-Syrian border. Photo: AFP

The militants took the men away in groups of a few dozen and shot them dead with assault rifles on the edge of the village, according to a wounded man who escaped by feigning death.

The fighters then walked among the bodies, finishing off any who appeared to still be alive with their pistols, the 42-year-old man said by phone from an area where he was hiding out.

“They thought we were dead, and when they went away, we ran away. We hid in a valley until sundown, and then we fled to the mountains,” he said.

Yazidi lawmaker Mahma Khalil said the men in Kocho were given the choice to convert or die. “When the residents refused to do this, the massacre took place,” he said.

Halgurd Hekmat, a spokesman for Kurdish security forces, said the militants took the women and children of Kocho to the nearby city of Tal Afar, which is controlled by Islamic State.

Members of the Yazidi religious minority arrive at the Syria-Iraq border in the north. Photo: EPA

Elsewhere in northern Iraq, residents living near the Mosul Dam said that the area was being targeted by airstrikes, but it was not clear whether the attacks were being carried out by Iraq’s air force or US jets.

The extremists seized the dam on the Tigris on August 7.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled when Islamic State earlier this month captured the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, near the Syrian border.

The plight of the Yazidis, tens of thousands of whom were stranded on a desert mountaintop for days, encircled by the Islamist extremists, also prompted US and Iraqi forces to launch aid drops. It also contributed to the US decision to launch airstrikes against the militants, who were advancing on the Kurdish regional capital Arbil.

Most of those Yazidis were able to escape to Iraq’s largely autonomous Kurdish region with the help of Kurdish fighters.

Volunteers who joined the Iraqi army to fight against Jihadist militants of the Islamic State (IS) hold a position north of Baghdad. Photo: AFP

But Islamic State remains in control of vast areas of northeastern Syria and northern and western Iraq, and the scale of the humanitarian crisis prompted the UN to declare its highest level of emergency earlier this week.

Yesterday, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said it had deployed a spy plane over northern Iraq to monitor the humanitarian crisis and movements of Islamic State militants. Two British planes also landed in Arbil yesterday carrying humanitarian supplies.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, meanwhile, announced more than €24 million (HK249 million) in humanitarian aid to Iraq.

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Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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