Devil worshippers or just hunted by the Devil? 14 facts about the Yazidis

Published August 11th, 2014 - 01:21 GMT

Right now approximately 20,000 men, women and children from Iraq’s minority Yazidi community are trapped atop mountains in Iraq’s north, penned in by Sunni militants for days on end without food or water. U.S. military planes dropped in basic supplies last night, but not before dozens of Yazidi children died of dehydration. Kurdish troops recently helped escort thousands to safety, but thousands more remain marooned. 

With Gaza still fending off Israeli shelling and Syria battling barrel bombs, why has America’s military might moved to help these persecuted peoples in particular? Consider that there are only 700,000 Yazidis worldwide (versus 1.8 million in Gaza and 22.4 million in Syria). It’s not the worst looming genocidal massacre—given the unfortunate alternative neighborly tragedies to pick from in the region—so why the rush to intercede?

Is it because the terrorists now going by “Islamic State” (IS) have ruthlessly hunted the vulnerable Yazidis, burning men alive and enslaving women for sex, or is it because they are simply too close to American interests (um, we mean personnel) based in Iraq? Iraq’s recently ousted Prime Minister Maliki unsuccessfully sought U.S. assistance against IS in the past, so why has the U.S. chosen to act now?

The diabolically brutal IS is a force growing in tactical sophistication as it acquires money, armaments and support from trained mercenaries. They threaten U.S. interests in Iraq, but perhaps also the safety of American citizens on home soil and abroad. Moreover, the situation is bleeding beyond the Middle East, inciting violent public demonstrations by Muslims in non-Arab nations such as Germany and France.

Considering American sentiment about another Middle Eastern incursion, what power do the Yazidi have to lure the U.S. military back to Iraq?

Enter our world of mystical exploration as we uncover peacock angels, black books and devil-worshippers. Who are the Yazidis and why is IS so bent on smoking them out of their mountain caves to visit horrific fates on these Kurdish folk?

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