“The (non-Iraqi) jihadists were Afghans, Bosnians, Arabs and even Americans and British fighters,” said Sabah Hajji Hassan, a 68-year-old Yazidi who managed to flee the bloody offensive by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.
“But the worst killings came from the people living among us, our (Sunni) Muslim neighbours.”
“The Metwet, Khawata and Kejala tribes — they were all our neighbours. But they joined the IS, took heavy weapons from them, and informed on who was Yazidi and who was not. Our neighbours made the IS takeover possible,” the distraught white-bearded Hassan said.
The IS attack on Yazidi villages in the area of Mount Sinjar began nearly two weeks ago, the latest chapter in an offensive that has seen the jihadist group seize large swathes of Iraqi territory, forcing minorities either to convert to Islam, flee or be killed.