U.N. investigation team finds ISIS crimes against Yezidis amount to genocide

NEW YORK — Karim Khan, head of the U.N. team investigating the crimes of the Islamic State (ISIS) crimes, announced on Monday that they had found clear and convincing evidence that ISIS’s crimes against Yezidis in the Shingal (Sinjar) area clearly represent genocide.

The U.N. team was established in September 2017 under Resolution 2379 to enhance accountability for crimes committed by ISIS, including for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Shingal was occupied by ISIS in 2014, during which it carried out a genocidal campaign of massacre, enslavement, displacement, and rape against Yezidis.

The Islamic State kidnapped more than 6,000 Yezidis during its attack on Shengal. According to the U.N., there are still an estimated 3,000 Yezidi women and girls missing.

According to the Yezidi House organization in North and East Syria, during the past year, they were able to locate dozens of abducted children and women among the families of ISIS members in Al-Hol Camp, east of Hasakah.

In January, a Yezidi woman managed to flee her captors in Busirah, east of Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor) in North and East Syria.

In August 2020, a 24-year-old Yezidi woman being held captive in the Turkish capital of Ankara was freed after her family paid a ransom for her release. The women, Zozan, was discovered to be in Turkey with her captor and his family who had reportedly been living in Turkey for several years.