this March 15, 2019 file photo, Iraqi Yazidi women mourn during the exhumation
process of a mass grave in Iraq's northwestern region of Sinjar. (AP)
ago, the Islamic State was defeated in Iraq. Whether it was the US-led strikes
or Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani’s support to Iraqi forces that played
a key role in defeating the militant group, it still poses a threat to Iraq’s
written by Glenn A. Fine, principal deputy inspector general for Operation
Inherent Resolve, stated that US President Donald Trump’s choice to withdraw
troops from Syria and pay little attention to diplomacy in Iraq triggered the
“resurgence” and “regrouping” of Islamic State (ISIS) forces in Syria and Iraq.
said approximately 14,000-18,000 troops are active within ISIS. That number
suggests the remaining troops are to be considered responsible for recent
attacks, killings and agricultural burning in Syria, Iraq and other parts of
potential comeback of ISIS raises fears, especially considering that trying to
claim justice from a brutal terrorist organisation like ISIS is difficult.
Nadia Murad, an Iraqi Yazidi once held captive by ISIS, gave a powerful and
heartfelt speech to the United Nations. Speaking with a bold yet fragile tone,
Murad said she wanted to “look the men who raped me in the eye and see them
brought to justice.”
what really touched the audience was Murad’s wish that she wanted to be “the
last girl in the world with a story like mine.”
Ezrow, director of the International Development Studies Programme at the
University of Essex, said: “Bringing members of terrorist organisations to
justice is incredibly challenging, especially when dealing with international
law and a state in transition.”
this difficulty, there must be “more momentum behind trying to create more
precedence and unity among international courts to punish groups and
individuals,” Ezrow said in a telephone interview.
how does one create momentum, particularly when the target is a non-state
“In the past, it has not been very easy punishing non-state actors. They simply
do not abide to the rules.”
non-state actors that have been difficult to punish include al-Qaeda, the Tamil
Tigers, the Shining Path and Abu Sayyaf.
that “unless members of a terrorist group have been captured and they
eventually try to attribute something to an individual involved, there has not
been a clear template of how to punish the perpetrator of terrorism. Usually,
example, key members who are dictating what to do are killed off. You then have
underlings who are possibly members of the group or victims that have been
recruited in. From this point on, it’s difficult to determine who did what.
Overall, there is a lot of secrecy and denial. It’s not very straightforward.”
circumstances are worrying, particularly for the religious minorities that were
targeted by ISIS. Such minorities include Iraqi Christians and Yazidis, with
women and children being the most vulnerable to kidnappings, torture, rape and
being sold as sex slaves.
potential resurgence of ISIS in areas such as Qaraqosh, Iraq’s largest
Christian city, and Sinjar, a Yazidi town in Iraq directly south of Mount
Sinjar, will heighten fears among inhabitants and exacerbate the mental and
physical issues that the minorities -- particularly rape survivors -- suffer
by an Iraqi aid worker named Yousef said an average of 1-2 Yazidi women
committed suicide each day in 2015.
women are dealing with trauma, self-blame and cultural shame. All three
components combined is a lot for these women to deal with. Being treated like
cattle is going to have a negative and lifelong effect on these women,” Ezrow
suicide is still common. “The women either had enough of the daily tortures
committed by ISIS or were fearful of the cultural retributions that followed
after being raped,” she said.
women having to give up children fathered by ISIS fighters touches on the
cultural retribution. Until recently, Yazidi women have been torn between
choosing to keep their children and reconciling with their faith and families
and community members who may consider the children to be Muslims and therefore
not part of the Yazidi faith or community.
circumstances, one must question whether the child deserves to be with his or
her mother but also face the risk of neglect or be put up for adoption and a
chance at a new life.
Headline: ISIS legacy in Iraq has an enduring effect on Yazidi survivors
Source: The Arab Weekly