Informations and abstract
Keywords: Genocide; Yazidis; ISIS; Armed Conflict; Iraq; Syria.
This article focuses on the atrocities that the Yazidis have been suffering at the hands of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, since August 2014. It finds that the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria was right in qualifying the atrocities suffered by the Yazidis of the Sinjar region as genocide in its report of 15 June 2016, since they clearly fall within Article II of the Genocide Convention. It is sub- mitted, however, that the said Commission erred when it considered the protected group as formed of the Yazidis of Sinjar only and it stated that the ISIS fighters intended to destroy them, in whole or in part. In this author's opinion, the ISIS fighters' behaviour glaringly shows their intent to destroy the Yazidis of Sinjar, as they were a substantial part of the overall group of the Yazidis, which must be considered the protected group targeted by ISIS. The article also investigates whether Iraq, Syria, or any of the other States parties to the Genocide Convention breached their obligation to prevent the Yazidi genocide under Article I of the aforementioned Convention. The author submits that the withdrawal of the Peshmerga, the Iraqi Kurdish forces, from the Sinjar region, as the ISIS fighters poured into it, without informing the civilian population, was not consistent with such obligation.