Child Survivors: Eye Witnesses to the ISIS Massacre at Sinjar
Sun, February 21, 2016
Nouri el-Falach, 11, miraculously survived the massacre. Nouri's family was kidnapped on the same day the massacre happened. When he refused to join the Islamic State, jihadis beat him savagely, fracturing three bones in his ankle.
WARNING: There are graphic images in this item:
The following is a translation of a CNN Arabic video documenting the massacre of Yazidi women and children by the Islamic State in the city of Sinjar:
Nearly two months after the liberation of Sinjar, the way to the city is still heavily guarded.
The mayor of Sinjar escorted us, to see what is left of his city.
When the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) invaded the Yazidi area, this way was filled with men, women and children, which were gathered from nearly villages.
The mayor took us to the other side of the sand dunes, where ISIS massacred so many Yazidis.
Many of the bones have been left on the ground unburied. No one has come to investigate or document it, said the mayor, who said the situation breaks his heart.
Here, all the women and children who refused to join ISIS were killed.
Eyewitnesses who survived told CNN that the number of the victims in these graves is more than 130. Those killed were ones chosen by the Islamic State to be transferred to the village of Tel A-Afar, which was under ISIS’ control. When they refused, the Islamic State killed most of them.
You can still see pieces of cloth as well as the chains in which the youths and older people were bound, as well as the prayer beads of the Yazidis, which they held onto, praying until the last moment.
You can also see the bullets with which the executioner shot the victims.
The video then cuts to a refugee camp in northern Iraq housing those who managed to escape from the brutal terrorist organization. Kurdish authorities told CNN they have proof that 600 children were kidnapped from Sinjar and the surrounding Yazidi villages. Around 200 of them were able to escape and are now living in camps all over Kurdish-controlled areas.
Nouri el-Falach, 11, is one fortunate escapee. His family was kidnapped on the same day that the massacre happened.
When he refused to join the Islamic State training camp in Tel A-Afar, ISIS jihadis beat him savagely, fracturing three bones in his ankle, but spared his life.
Another child, Nouri’s brother Saman, 5, was taken to the ISIS training camp and beaten daily by his captors.
Both eventually circumvented ISIS’ checkpoints and managed to escape.
Their grandmother, Rawa Chalf, said the children told what they saw when the ISIS jihadis killed the children who refused to join the training. Rawa said the children are still in a state of shock. Nouri wakes up every night terrified that he is being choked. Saman suffers from panic attacks.
As the camera pans away, smoke can be seen from afar from attacks on an ISIS camp.
The mass graves can be found in the one of the valleys that lead to the border with the area still under control of the Islamic State.
On the ground, the mayor discovers what seems to be a part of a child’s skull. He picks it up and puts it above the grave.
He tells us that he hopes that one day, the area will be safe enough that the murdered children can be identified.
The full video can be viewed by clicking here.
Get a preview of Clarion Project’s upcoming film, Faithkeepers, about the violent persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. The film features exclusive footage and testimonials of Christians, Baha’i, Yazidis, Jews, and other minority refugees, and a historical context of the persecution in the region.