Slaughter after ultimatum exposed by MoS
Published by The Mail on Sunday (17th August, 2014)
Islamic State militants have massacred most of the men living in an Iraqi village after the inhabitants, members of the Yazidi minority, refused to convert to their religion.
The slaughter was carried out after residents of Kocho refused to bow to a ‘convert or die’ ultimatum, revealed by the Mail on Sunday last weekend.
Kurdish officials put the number of dead in the massacre at about 80. But one survivor said more than 200 people from the village were later gunned down in the desert after being told they were being driven to the border.
The remaining women and girls – another 300 people – were taken off to an undisclosed location, joining hundreds of other Yazidi women held by the fanatics.
Following the massacre the US responded with attacks by drone aircraft near Kocho, destroying two IS armoured vehicles which, according to Kurdish sources, has been involved in the killings
Maisar Hajisalih, mayor of the Sinjar region which includes the village, said one man survived the carnage, although wounded, had called him once the jihadists had left.
The injured man said IS gathered all the villagers in the school on Friday afternoon, then after a long lecture told them they had one final chance to convert. When the Yazidis remained defiant, the militants appeared to relent and told the terrified residents they would be driven to Dohuk, a town outside their control in Iraqi Kurdistan.
They were put on a fleet of vehicles. But after a short drive the men were taken off and shot, together with some older woman, before the remaining women and girls were driven away.
The Mail on Sunday revealed how heavily-armed jihadists besieged the walled village after arriving in a fleet of American Humvees, captured from the Iraq army.
The village’s mayor said they were given a three-day ultimatum to become Muslims. This was then extended by five days after the intervention of local Arab tribal leaders.
‘The international community watched this happen and there will be more mass graves found around Sinjar,’ said Khider Domle, a prominent Yazidi activist. ‘It is shameful. We feel betrayed by the British and Americans.’