U.S. stands with Yazidis to ensure atrocities won’t reoccur: consul general    

U.S. Consul General in Erbil Robert Palladino visits Lalish Temple in Duhok province, August 1, 2021. (Photo: U.S. Consulate General)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — U.S. Consul General to the Kurdistan Region Robert Palladino said on Tuesday the United States stands with the Yazidis to ensure that atrocities carried out by Islamic State (ISIS) won’t reoccur.

ISIS militants overran the Yazidi faith’s heartland of Sinjar in northern Iraq in 2014, forcing young women into servitude as “wives” for its fighters and massacring men and older women.

The militants shot, beheaded, burned alive or kidnapped more than 9,000 members of the minority religion, in what the United Nations has called a genocidal campaign against them. According to community leaders, more than 3,000 Yazidis remain unaccounted for.

The U.S. diplomat paid a visit to Lalish Temple and met with Prince Hazim and the Yazidi leaders to express his condolences on the seventh anniversary of the genocide against the Yazidis, according to the consulate general in Erbil.

“Today we honor the memory of those killed and we reaffirm our commitment to assisting those who are still affected,” Palladino said.

“We stand together as an example of resilience and cooperation to ensure that such atrocities never happen again,” he added.

On Sunday, the Kurdistan Region’s office of rescuing kidnapped Yazidis said there were 550,000 Yazidis living in Iraq.

As many as 360,000 Yazidis had been displaced due to ISIS attacks, the office said in a statement. Up to 150,000 of them had returned to their areas.

It further said 1,293 Yazidis had been killed and 82 mass graves had been found so far.

“Sixty-eight temples had been exploded,” it added.

As many as 6,417 Yazidis had been kidnapped, including 1,548 women, according to the office.

“The number of kidnapped Yazidis who were martyred by ISIS was 104,” it said.

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