Throughout history, the Yazidis have been subjected to attacks and massacres because of their religion, at the hands of the Arabs and “the Seljuks, the Oghuz, the Mongols, the Tatars, the Ottomans and the Turks, the British, and finally ISIS.”
The attacks on the Yazidis began early in the era of Islam, during the time of the Rashidun Caliph Umar ibn Khattab / 634-644 /. According to the Yazidis, the first attacks were in the year 640 CE and were led by Qasim bin Abbas al-Yamani and Abdullah bin Omar.
After that, the attacks on the Yazidis continued with the Umayyad control of power, and the Abbasids followed the path of their predecessor, and Yezidi sources confirm that they were exposed to 12 military campaigns and attacks between 640 and 979 CE.
After this period, the Yazidis were subjected to the attacks of the Oghuz Turks in 1029 CE, who later established the Seljuk state in light of the weakness of the Abbasid state and its assistance to them, and the Seljuks ruled the region in the name of Islam and committed massacres in his name as well.
The Seljuks established the Sultanate of Rum, the “Seljuks of Rum” in 1075, after the Seljuk commander Suleiman bin Qatlemish declared himself a sultan. Since the Yazidis have been subjected to woes and disasters at their hands, they use the word “Rumi” in reference to pessimism.
The Yazidis were also subjected to massacres at the hands of the Tatars in 1259, and the Mongols in the years 1368 – 1394 – 1400 AD.
“History has not had mercy on the Yazidis in this country,” said the Yazidi researcher, Khader Domali. “This religion has been subjected to many scourges, as all the forces that were coming to the region were growing at the expense of the Yazidis.”
“Ottoman fatwas permitting killing Yazidis”
The Yazidis were subjected to massacres as a result of religious fatwas that permitted the killing of Yazidis and looting their property, and among the most important fatwas that permitted their killing is the fatwa of Ahmad bin Hanbal in the ninth century, Abu al-Layth al-Samarqandi, Abu Saud al-Emadi and Abdullah al-Rabtaki.
However, the fatwas of Abu Saud Al-Emadi, who is known as the “scholar of the Romans – the Mufti of the Ottoman Takht,” who was born in a suburb of Constantinople, and who took the fatwas in the Ottoman Empire during the reigns of Suleiman the Magnificent and Selim II, are among the most responsible for massacres.
The Yazidis say that Al-Emadi permitted in his fatwa the killing of the Yazidis and the captivity of their women and offspring after describing them as “more infidels than the original infidels,” and b he reasoned this under the pretext of their hatred of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib and his sons Hassan and Hussein to incite the Shiite Muslims against them in addition to the Sunnis.
“The Ottomans committed 101 massacres against the Yazidis”
From the fatwas of Abu Saud al-Emadi in 1560 and until 1918, five years before the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottomans committed 101 massacres against the Yazidis, some of which were committed by the Ottoman army itself and some by issuing orders to the region’s governors, according to what researcher Dawud Murad Khattari documented.
Khatari says that after searching for documents, manuscripts and sober references about the Firmans that the Yazidis were exposed to, he was able to obtain many (Ottoman, Russian, French, Persian, English, Arabic, Syriac, Kurdish) documents.
He adds: “According to what I have been able to document until the end of the First World War, the number of genocides the Yazidis were subjected to amounts to 161, in addition to forced displacement and killing of princes and dignitaries for 37 times, as well as issuance of 15 official fatwas inciting the killing of Yazidis.”
Among the campaigns led by the Ottoman governors of Baghdad: the campaign of Hasan Pasha in 1715 AD, the campaign of Ahmed Pasha in 1733, and the campaign of Suleiman Pasha in 1752.
Then comes the campaign of Nader Shah Al-Farsi, which continued for the period between 1732 and 1743 AD, and then the campaigns of the Jalilian princes of Mosul, the campaign against the Sheikhan Emirate and the campaigns against the Yazidis in Şengal Mountains, followed by the campaigns of the Ottoman pashas.
Among the campaigns of the Ottoman pashas: the Ali Pasha campaign in 1802, the campaign of Suleiman Pasha the Junior in 1809, the Inge Bayraktar campaign in 1835, the Rashid Pasha campaign in 1836, the Hafez Pasha campaign in 1837 – the campaign of Muhammad Sharif Pasha between the years 1844 and 1845, the campaign of Muhammad Pasha Kridlioglu between 1845 and 1846, Tayyar Pasha’s campaign between 1846 and 1847. The campaign of Ayoub Bey in 1891, the campaign of Lieutenant General Omar Wehbe Pasha in 1892, and the campaign of Bakr Pasha in 1894.
During the twentieth century, the Yazidis were subjected to deportation and massacres at the hands of the Union and Progress in conjunction with the massacres of Armenians and Assyrians in 1915, and the last Ottoman campaign against the Yazidis was in 1918 by Ibrahim Pasha.
The Yazidis use firman or ferman (Turkish) as a synonym for the genocidal campaigns they have been subjected to. Firman is a Turkish word meaning “decision” and refers to the decisions issued by the Ottoman sultans to annihilate the Yazidis.
“Yazidis and the massacres of England and Iraq”
In the twentieth century, the Yazidis were also attacked, and according to researcher Dawood Murad Khatari, among the documents he obtained was a document confirming that the Yazidis were subjected to a campaign by the British mandate over Iraq in 1925.
Due to the lack of written Yazidi documents, it is not known exactly how much of the Yazidi community lost in this campaign.
In 1935, Major General Hussein Fawzi Pasha launched a campaign against Şengal, as the residents of Şengal and the northern regions of Iraq and the mid-Euphrates regions launched revolutions against the decision of compulsory conscription in the Kingdom of Iraq, and they were brutally suppressed.
At that time, Hussein Fawzi was the commander of the Mosul region, after he had been promoted in the military positions until he reached an artillery commander and commander of the Staff School, and he ordered an attack on Şengal.
According to Iraqi sources, Army Commander Bakr Sidqi killed more than 200 Yezidis and imposed military law throughout the area.
After the signing the Algiers Agreement between Iraq and Iran on March 6, 1975, according to which the Shah of Iran, Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, gave up the support of Mulla Mustafa Barzani against Iraq, the Iraqi authorities launched genocide campaigns against the Kurds in various areas of their presence in Başûr Kurdistan, and the Yazidis had a share where 150 village in the district of Şengal were destroyed, and its people were transferred to forced compounds.
“Yazidis and the 21st century”
Since the United States intervened in Iraq in the spring of 2003, the bombings began to hit the various Iraqi regions, especially the Yazidis and Shiites, and although the United States of America and the Iraqi security launched many campaigns against the jihad base in Iraq and later the Islamic State, it could not control the situation. Since the American intervention in Iraq, Iraq has continuously witnessed bombings and assassinations carried out by these groups, and the Yazidis had a share of them.
On August 14, 2007, the Tal Uzair district in Şengal District was subjected to simultaneous attacks with a fuel tanker and three trucks loaded with explosive materials and bombs, which led to the almost complete destruction of homes in the district, due to the magnitude of the explosion.
According to the Iraqi Red Crescent, the attacks caused the death of 796 people and the wounding of 1,562 others, and this attack was considered at the time one of the bloodiest attacks in Iraq after the entry of US forces and the second largest in terms of the number of deaths in the world after the attacks of 11 September.
These attacks were preceded by the distribution of leaflets in Sunni areas of Iraq, especially in Mosul, as well as in Başûr Kurdistan, describing the Yazidis as infidels and calling for their killing on the grounds that they are “anti-Islam.”
“ISIS and the attacks on Şengal”
ISIS has always been known for its barbarity and decapitation of those who were attacking them, and it used booby-traps at the beginning of each attack, and within a short period of time it was able to intimidate everyone, so regional and global countries sought to exploit ISIS in order to achieve its interests in Syria and Iraq.
Ozgur Gundem newspaper, published in Bakur “North Kurdistan” and Turkey, obtained information from its own sources that a meeting was held in the Jordanian capital Amman on the first of June 2014 in the presence of representatives of the United States of America, Israel, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Kurdistan Democratic Party. In it, planning for the organized attacks of ISIS in Syria and Iraq after this period, in order to give the opportunity for those parties to intervene in the affairs of Syria and Iraq, each according to their interest.
Seven years after the Tal Uzair bombings, ISIS attacked Şengal on August 3, 2014. Before this attack, leaders in Başûr region and the Turkish government had a meeting, after which the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Democratic Party withdrew from the district of Şengal and abandoned civilians to face ISIS killing machine.
According to statistics, ISIS killed more than 3 thousand Yazidis, kidnapped more than 5 thousand others, in addition to that, 1500 Yazidi women have been exposed to violence, and more than 1,000 women and young women were sold in slave markets in Syria and Iraq, in addition to the displacement of more than 350 thousand Yazidis.
The United Nations classified ISIS massacres against the Yazidis as “war crimes and crimes against humanity”, and confirmed that it aimed to exterminate the Yazidis.