A History of Syria – Documentary

Published on Sep 11, 2015

Dan Snow travels to Syria to see how the country’s fascinating and tumultuous history is shaping the current civil war. For thousands of years empires and despots have fought for control of the strategically vital region, leaving behind stunning temples, castles and mosques, as well as a diverse cultural heritage. Those conflicts – from the Roman conquests to the crusades, from the French colonial invasion to the military coups of the 1960s – loom large in today’s conflict. For those confused by the seemingly random nature of the bloodshed and slaughter, Dan Snow unpicks the historic divisions between Sunnis and Alawites, Islamists and secularists, east and west.

Yazidi diaspora plead for justice in Iraq

The acts of murder, violence, forced conversion and sexual slavery are crimes against humanity!

It’s the responsibility of the entire world to stop this persecution, especially against a community whose population is only 600,000. Can you imagine we are experiencing a genocide in 2014?”

They face double persecution – for not being Arab or Sunni Muslim – and occupy the lowest rank in the socio-economic hierarchy of the region,” explained Sebastian Maisel, a professor at Grand Valley State University.

Thus, within a year or two, we can see the entire community vanish from their ancestral homeland!

Yazidi genocide, they were murdered and were fleeing for their lives


Thousands of Yazidis leaving their ancestral homeland


yazidi, yezidi, ezidi, yazdani

Thousands of people leaving their ancestral homeland. Women and children being kidnapped, raped, and sold as slaves. Men slaughtered by the thousands. The Islamic State (IS) has been waging a genocidal war against the defenseless Yazidi people.

The Yazidi (also Yezidi, Êzidî, Yazdani) are a Kurdish ethno-religious community whose syncretic but ancient religion is linked to Zoroastrianism and ancient Mesopotamian religions. They live primarily in the Nineveh Province of northern Iraq, a region once part of ancient Assyria and capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Additional communities in Armenia, Georgia and Syria.

In August 2014 the Yazidi were targeted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, in its campaign to “purify” Iraq and neighboring countries of non-Islamic influences. The Salafist militant group Islamic State, which considers the Yazidi devil-worshippers, captured Sinjar in August 2014 following the withdrawal of Peshmerga troops, forcing up to 50,000 Yazidis to flee into the nearby mountainous region. Threatened with death at the hands of militants, they faced starvation in the mountains.

In Sinjar, ISIL destroyed a Shiite shrine and demanded that the remaining population convert to their version of Islam, pay jizya (a religious tax) or be executed. Up to 200,000 people (including an estimated 40,000 Yazidi) fled the city before it was captured by ISIL forces, giving rise to fears of a humanitarian tragedy. ISIL demanded the Yazidi convert to their version of Islam, pay jizya (a religious tax) or be executed. Thousands of Yazidi and Christian religious minorities trapped on the mountaintop in northwest Iraq. Between 20,000 and 30,000 Iraqis, most of them women and children, besieged by Isis. Sick or elderly Yazidi who could not make the trek were being executed by ISIL.

Yazidis are the common victims of Islamist hate and intolerance. Beside ISIL threats, Yazidis are also facing attacks from their Arab neighbors. Unfortunately for the Yazidis, they may not be returning to their homeland for a long time, if ever. “Such a return will be difficult if not impossible, and the international community should be prepared for the permanent displacement of the majority of the surviving Yazidis,”

Is this the end for the Yazidis of Iraq?

In northern Iraq, followers of one of the world’s most colourful religions are in danger of being wiped out by Islamic State jihadists. The followers of the Peacock Angel believe they are facing their 73rd genocide.

They are forced to sleep in caves, faced with temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) and have no food or water, let alone arms to defend themselves with.

Many Yazidis fled Sinjar with only the clothes on their back, leaving behind all of their belongings…

Is this the end for the Yazidis of Iraq?

A Yazidi woman fleeing violence covers her feet with clothes as she walks toward the Syrian border on Aug. 11.

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Is this the end for the Yazidis of Iraq?

What chance do Yazidis have against group too brutal for al Qaeda?

Yazidi women are trafficked as sex slaves, abused and imprisoned

More than 1,000 women and children kidnapped by Isis. Yazidis in Iraq have made an emotional plea for West to help more than 1,000 kidnapped Yazidi women forced into ‘sex trade’.

“We’re a minority here and there’s no strong lobby to support us. We ask for support from those governments that care about human rights and humanity.”

Help the Yazidis:

more than 1,000 women and children kidnapped by Isis.

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Yazidi – Homeless – Stateless – Nationless

All of the villages around us are Arabs, and they joined with Daash (the Arabic term for ISIL) against us. They are our neighbours. We have known them all our lives. We don’t know what happened to them. They say if we come back they will kill us. They say, ‘we have taken your house, your car, your fields.’ This is why we do not want to go back.

Where is the World?

Help Syria Children |

Save the Kurdish Children |

Yazidi stateless nations and nationless states

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