It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since ISIS shocked the world with a brazen and deadly rampage against the helpless community of Yazidis living in Iraqi Kurdistan.
This Twitter thread marks the coming anniversary by calling on the world to recall and fully acknowledge this attempted genocide and the devastation it has caused the Yazidi people to this very day.
Most of us saw — and will never be able to erase — the unspeakable horrors played out in real-time for the world to see. This dramatic helicopter mission to airlift people out of the carnage was one of the many shocking moments captured on camera.
You could feel the pain and imagine the horror just by looking at the expression on their faces.
One year after the tragedy, with ISIS still holding the city of Sinjar, I visited Sinjar Mountain — and the remnants of destruction were still readily visible. Bombed out cars. Clothing strewn about. Children’s toys on the ground.
It was a breathtaking site. This was the road where so many Yazidis had died, senselessly and brutally. I remember seeing the faces of Yazidis in camps, at the top of the mountain. I took a picture, but I don’t need it to remember the pain on their faces:
So, it’s particularly heartbreaking to see in a headline today that five years later, four years after I visited, these people still do not have homes.
As you can see in the above Twitter thread, the city of Sinjar itself is still devastated. No one has bothered to invest and help these people rebuild. Not the Iraqi government, apparently, and no foreign entity either.
And now the Yazidis who are trying to make a comeback are facing a whole new set of fears and struggles. A string of fires — the cause of which is yet unknown — has devastated what little hope remained. From the Jerusalem Post:
“There is nothing left,” said Baderkhan Kassim, an NGO worker from the village of Tel Banat. He had been waiting eagerly for six months to harvest crops before they were destroyed last week, in a spate of fires affecting dozens of villages. Speaking from Sinjar, Kassim warned of the devastating consequences the blazes will have on the local community, many of whom rely solely on the harvests to survive. “It is so hard to find a job. I have applied to over 200 and received no response. Without the crops, people will starve.”
Do continue to pray for the people of the Yazidi community — first and foremost for their immediate physical needs, but also for their spiritual ones as well. That they may trust in Christ and receive Him, and that He may give them peace in the midst of all the great sufferings they have endured.
If you’d like to physically help those on the ground in Iraq, consider looking into some of the work Christian organizations such as Samaratin’s Purse is doing in the region.