July 30, 2019
help. Whatever success they are finding is mainly attributable to heroic Canadian volunteers
A sombre anniversary approaches. On Aug. 3, 2014, ISIL jihadists invaded the ancient city of Sinjar, the heartland of the Yezidi people. They forcibly converted, shot, beheaded or burned alive 10,000 men and boys, taking 7,000 women and girls captive, to be used as sex slaves. Holy sites were desecrated. The Kurdish forces that had pledged to defend them retreated en masse in the face of the onslaught. Those who managed to flee — approximately 15,000 Yezidi refugees, mostly women and children — ended up in UNHCR camps in Turkey.
After officially declaring the mass murder of the Yezidis a genocide, the Trudeau government agreed to settle some 1,200 Yezidi refugees here. Most incoming Yezidis are women, alone or with children, traumatized by their ordeal, and separated from kinsmen languishing in Iraq and Syria camps; they should be fast-tracked for passage here, but aren’t a government priority.
Settlement has been fraught with difficulty for these fragile people.