By Paul Miller, Originally published in the New York Observer
The world watched in horror as ISIS attacked Paris Friday night. When the carnage ended, over 120 people were dead and hundreds more injured. Since that tragic evening, nearly a dozen more have succumbed to their wounds, and the civilized world is in mourning, justifiably outraged.
Meanwhile, at exactly the same day and time, 2,500 miles away, ISIS was murdering men, women and children in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, scene of the infamous Sinjar massacre 15 months earlier, in which 200,000 Yazidis were driven from their homes and 50,000 fled for their lives to the Sinjar Mountains.
According to Matthew Barber, a scholar of Yazidi history at the University of Chicago, as many as 5,000 Yazidi men have been killed by ISIS, and by conservative estimates the same number of Yazidi women and children may have been captured. The United Nations confirmed that 5,000 men have been executed and as many as 7,000 women and girls have been made sex slaves by ISIS. Stories of beheadings, rape and children dying of starvation and dehydration are common among eyewitnesses.
While the West has arguably been reluctant to confront ISIS in a manner befitting a terrorist group that rapes and murders children, burns captives alive and throws homosexuals off of rooftops, Yazidis, with support from Kurdish military groups and US- and British-led coalition air strikes, are fighting to take back their homes and indeed their lives from the Islamic State.