The UK has today formally acknowledged that acts of genocide were committed against the Yazidi people by ISIS in 2014.
The UK has today formally acknowledged that acts of genocide were committed against the Yazidi people by Daesh (ISIS) in 2014.
The Minister of State for the Middle East Lord Ahmad made the announcement ahead of events marking the nine-year anniversary of atrocities committed by Daesh against the Yazidi people.
Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord Ahmad, said: “The Yazidi population suffered immensely at the hands of Daesh nine years ago and the repercussions are still felt to this day. Justice and accountability are key for those whose lives have been devastated. Today we have made the historic acknowledgement that acts of genocide were committed against the Yazidi people. This determination only strengthens our commitment to ensuring that they receive the compensation owed to them and are able to access meaningful justice.”
Ahmad vowed that: “The UK will continue to play a leading role in eradicating Daesh, including through rebuilding communities affected by its terrorism and leading global efforts against its poisonous propaganda.”
Making the announcement, the UK government credited the recognition to the judgment of the German Federal Court of Justice on 17 January 2023, which found a former Daesh fighter guilty of acts of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Iraq.
The atrocities inflicted by the jihadist group on the Yazidis join those of the Holocaust, Rwanda, Srebrenica and Cambodia recognised by Britain.
The atrocities against the Yazidis were first recognized by a German court as a genocide on 30 November 2021. The parliament of Germany, the Bundestag, also recognized the Yazidi genocide in January 2023.
UN bodies and the European Parliament have also recognized ISIS crimes as genocide, as have Armenia, Australia, the US House of Representatives and the Scottish Parliament.
Shengal (Sinjar) is the last contiguous settlement area of the Yazidi community. Thousands of Yazidis were murdered and thousands of women and children were taken prisoner in the 3 August 2014 onslaught on Shengal by ISIS militants. While ISIS gangs began murdering Yazidis in Shengal, the Peshmerga left, leaving the Yazidis behind. HPG-YJA Star and YPG-YPJ fighters came to the Yazidi people’s aid in the face of ISIS aggression.
After months of resistance, the fighters who saved the Yazidi people from a larger genocide liberated Shengal. After the liberation of the city, the HPG and YPG/YPJ subsequently withdrew in 2017. People who returned to their land after Shengal’s independence reformed, established defensive units and built their institutions.