Report on Mass Graves of Yazidis in Sinjar

Click the above map to download a full-size image

Click the above map to download a full-size image

by Matthew Barber

Yazda is a Yazidi humanitarian and advocacy organization founded after the attempted genocide of the Yazidis by IS on Aug. 3, 2014. Beginning this past fall, I took a one-year leave of absence from my PhD program at the University of Chicago to serve as Executive Director for Yazda during this period of urgent need. The accompanying responsibilities have unfortunately kept me away from Syria Comment of late.

One of Yazda’s projects is to document the crimes of genocide that were committed against the Yazidi people. Our genocide documentation project focuses on examining physical evidence of mass graves (bones, clothing, grave mounds) while gathering survivor testimonies to corroborate the physical evidence that we find.

Bones and skull fragments of Yazidis killed by IS near Sinjar City. The civilians that were massacred at this site were attempting to flee to safety when they were rounded up by jihadists and brought to this site in trucks. Evidenc of clothing found by Yazda suggests that men, women, and children were executed at this site. Photo: Yazda

Bones and skull fragments of Yazidis killed by IS near Sinjar City. The civilians that were massacred at this site were attempting to flee to safety when they were rounded up by jihadists and brought to this site in trucks. Evidence of clothing found by Yazda suggests that men, women, and children were executed at this site. Photo: Yazda

Yazda is now issuing a full report on the mass graves in Sinjar, which is available on the Yazda website. VICE News has just published the full report here, and Human Rights Watch and Yazda have released a joint press statement on the urgency of protecting and performing forensic analyses of the mass graves.

The full report is also available for download here, and can be read in the PDF viewer below.

Comments (80)

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51. Ghufran said:

It is hard to tell who is worse for Syria, Turkey or KSA but Turkey is clearly a bigger threat to Syria’s terrirorial integrity and independence for geographical and historical reasons. All eyes are on the Turkish army as syrian troops and their allies are now only 45 km from Tabqa airport outside raqqa and are about to complete a ring of fire around Aleppo.
Where are the people here who said Putin will not respond to Turkey ?

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February 10th, 2016, 11:57 pm


52. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Putin, the Great Tzar has a small problem: oil is now 26 USD a barrel.

Russia will bankrupt in months. It looks they want to end the syrian war by conquesting Aleppo but saudis will not ease the oil market anyway.

What will happen next? ISIS attacks in Saudi Arabia ? Or London, Paris, Istanbul ?

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February 11th, 2016, 3:46 am


53. SANDRO LOEWE said:

ISIS fights rebels not Assad while creates area for Assad to enter SAA

ISIS oil camps are run by russian engineers, offering oil to Assad.

ISIS men with hidden faces are russian elite corps.

ISIS is fed by jihadists brought covered ops.

ISIS videos and executions were mastered by russian secret services on the ground.

ISIS attacks Paris, Saudia, Turkey but not Tehran, Moscow or US.

Why ?

Because ISIS is Russia and Assad.

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February 11th, 2016, 3:50 am


54. SANDRO LOEWE said:

World Markets are crushing as a consequence of rummors bank system could fail due to oil companies bankrupcy. Oil companies bankrupcy is the result of Obama and Putin attack against demographics in the Middle East. They try to ethnic cleanse the arab sunna and relocate chia instead. Saudis and Turkey will use the last bullet: oil and financial markets

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February 11th, 2016, 4:32 am


55. SimoHurtta said:

Propaganda machines seem to be in panic mode.

The “Syrian Center for Policy Research” SCPR report of that over one of ten Syrian is now killed or wounded gets much space in western media including here in Finland. Very few ask the question is it really true that 2,4 million Syrians are now killed or wounded? The newspaper stories about the report are full of exact statistical details of reduced life expectancy and economical “facts”.

Making such level statistical demographic analyses demands a very good data basis of the nation’s people and economy. Without that data basis got with census the analyses are at the best pure estimations and at the worst pure invented PROPAGANDA. In the state in which Syria has been the last years and when nobody is able to collect reliable country wide data, it is rather absurd to pretend, that the presented estimations are real facts.

Google search doesn’t reveal much what “Syrian Center for Policy Research” actually is. It is in a way hilarious that these organizations like “Syrian Center for Policy Research”, “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” and “Syrian Network for Human Rights” with their absurd exact numeric details get so much attention in western press without the reporters asking what are these organizations exactly and how are they able to produce so exact “real time” data of the amount of victims. Example of the amount of victims in Finnish state owned broadcasting company.

Can anybody really take seriously such exact table of amount how different parties killed civilians in 2015:
Government 12,044 – Rebels 1,072 – ISIS 1,366 – Syrian Al Qaida 89 -, Russia 849 and International coalition 277. Especially when the “collecting” organization is based in Britain? They really must have a astonishing data collecting network if they really can claim that the figures are based on real facts from the whole country. How can a the collector in Britain be sure that the phone call he gets form ISIS area about killed civilians is the truth? Or the phone call telling how many children a Russian bomb just killed? What if the data collecting network exists only in the government areas and not in rebel held areas?

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February 11th, 2016, 6:59 am


56. mjabali said:

Simo said ” Propaganda machines seem to be in panic mode”

Then he got 5 thumbs down by one person as obvious ….not even a small attempt to hide their loss….tsk tsk tsk…

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February 11th, 2016, 12:48 pm


57. ALAN said:

Obama administration is frantically searching for ways to either delay or derail the Russian-led juggernaut and avoid the impending collapse of US policy in Syria?
It’s worth noting that the Russian-led military offensive clearly hews to UN resolution 2254
Moscow is not going to comply with any ceasefire that spares homicidal jihadists or undermines UN resolution 2254. Russian military operations are going to continue until ISIS, al Nusra and the other terrorist militias are defeated.
Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the US in their reaction to the encirclement of Aleppo feel their regional ambitions are more closely aligned with those of the jihadists than with the elected government in Damascus. This tacit alliance between the militants and their sponsors speaks volumes about the credibility of Washington’s fake war on terror.

US A-10s bombed city of Aleppo on Wednesday, shifted blame onto Moscow

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February 11th, 2016, 3:35 pm


58. Observer said:

For a change of scenery here is science in action a testimony to how the use of the human mind can be so rewarding in the right direction in comparison to the use of the mind for stupidity. Looking at the leaders of the world today from East to West stupidity is certainly on the ascendant. As for thumbs up and down even a thanks got a stupid vote. How can a Thank You note get either an up or down vote is beyond me. But hey stupidity is also present on this blog.

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February 11th, 2016, 3:51 pm


59. Tara said:

Susu (Simo)

How much the Persians are paying you? And how did they find you? Your secular Shiaa wife?
I need a job , badly . Can your wife make me a paid propagandist if the Wali Faqih.

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February 11th, 2016, 6:21 pm


60. SimoHurtta said:

Taru (Tara) Persians pay me one million euros weekly, Putin’s boys two million and Assad’s clan in these financial difficult times send mee dates (10 kg per month). Sorry Tara but they do not want hire you, I asked, they think that you are not tallented enough (though they all used a much more ruder expression) for the job. Well you could go to the ISIS slave markets, ask your own market price (100 euros ?) and find a religiously awarding simple job among your own. Do what you do best.

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February 11th, 2016, 7:28 pm


61. Ghufran said:

A tip of knowledge from oil gurus:
16% of Russia’s gdp comes from oil and gas and its economy shrunk by less than 5% in 2015. The pain of low oil prices is shared by many nations including ksa. Demand is low and supply is not. The fix may not come as quickly as people in the oil industry want. The price of oil today is fair according to market data, what we saw prior to 2013 was a bubble, a sharp increase is unlikely unless a major regional war erupts in the Middle East or a sudden destabilizing change in ksa is seen, both scenarios are not realistic. Even if a number of small oil companies go bankrupt the effect on oil prices will not be enough to revive the oil economy. Governments and big companies are spending cash and borrowing and laying off people, the big dudes are safe.

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February 11th, 2016, 8:04 pm


62. Tara said:

Simo, it is Teu Teu , brilliant you. You brought up the propagandist so I wanted to familiarize our audience with a Finn prototype. I do not qualify as a slave to ISIS as I am Sunni and in their eye, I am a free woman . I also do not qualify for prostitution-made legal by عقد النكاح as you can qualify. They take men slave too . You will be labeled as غلمان. She and you too can easily foot the bill.

Again , how much they pay per post?

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February 11th, 2016, 8:44 pm


63. Ghufran said:

World powers have agreed to seek a nationwide “cessation of hostilities” in Syria to begin in a week’s time, after talks in Germany.
The halt will not apply to the battle against jihadist groups Islamic State (IS) and al-Nusra Front.

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February 11th, 2016, 9:15 pm


64. Ghufran said:

The Syrian tragedy in numbers:

The Syrian Center for Policy Research reported that 400,000 Syrians have been killed since the outbreak of the crisis as opposed to the latest UN toll of 260,000. The report added that another 70,000 people have perished due to the lack of adequate health services, food, clean water, sanitation and proper housing, especially for those displaced within conflict zones. It further noted that Syria’s mortality rate soared from 4.4 per thousand in 2010 to 10.9 per thousand in 2015, and life expectancy plunged from 70 in 2010 to 55.4 in 2015. The report also put the number of those wounded at 1.9 million, stating that 11.5 percent of Syria’s population has been killed or injured since the crisis broke out in March 2011. “We think that the UN documentation and informal estimation underestimated the casualties due to lack of access to information during the crisis,” Rabie Nasser, the author of the report, told The Guardian on Thursday. Moreover, 6.36 million people have been displaced internally and more than four million others have fled the country since the beginning of the conflict. That accounts for 45 percent of the country’s population, which has shrunk by 21 percent. About 13.8 million Syrians have also lost their source of income. Poverty increased by 85 percent in 2015 alone and consumer prices rose 53 percent last year. “Prices in conflict zones and besieged areas are much higher than elsewhere in the country and this boosts profit margins for war traders who monopolize the markets of these regions,” the report said. Infrastructure and institutions have been “almost obliterated” by the “catastrophic impact” of the militancy, and the overall economic losses are estimated at $255 billion. “Despite the fact that Syrians have been suffering for… five years, global attention to human rights and dignity for them only intensified when the crisis had a direct impact on the societies of developed countries,” the report argued.

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February 11th, 2016, 11:47 pm


65. Passerby said:

Ok, a ceasefire for everyone except Nusra and ISIS. Just how does that work?

Only bomb the Aleppo areas under Nusra control? Are there areas clearly under the control of Nusra or non-Nusra or are they all mixed up and changing? All Nusra has to do to avoid Russia/Iran/Assad is to intermingle with other rebels?

And Nusra’s buddies, they are just going to sit there as all the firepower in now concentrated on any areas under Nusra control, assuming such a thing can be identified? The Regime still making huge gains, isolating them in small pockets and they will just sit there?

Well, Russia is in control. They have their hands on the levers, no one else. If the Rebels and supporters don’t play ball, Assad has total victory. Assad doesn’t play ball, Russia cuts off the support and Assad is defeated. Putin has done it, he has taken control and given whatever “moderates” exist a way to survive, while destroying ISIS and Nusra.

And Erdogan? What a loser. He could have used the Turkish military with lots of allies against a hated Assad, when moderates still existed. But he chose instead to support Sunni terrorists. Now he faces S-400 and state of the art Russian jets and a host of imported Shiite killers from across the planet.

He’s going to invade now and take on the Russian air force (with the long arm of Russia’s ICBM’s behind it?)


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February 12th, 2016, 2:09 am


66. Badr said:

“Passerby: Assad doesn’t play ball, Russia cuts off the support

What do you think Russia wants from Assad to agree to do?

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February 12th, 2016, 4:37 am


67. SimoHurtta said:

62. Tara said:

Simo, it is Teu Teu , brilliant you. You brought up the propagandist so I wanted to familiarize our audience with a Finn prototype. I do not qualify as a slave to ISIS as I am Sunni and in their eye, I am a free woman . I also do not qualify for prostitution-made legal by عقد النكاح as you can qualify. They take men slave too . You will be labeled as غلمان. She and you too can easily foot the bill.

Again , how much they pay per post?

Well Tara you are a SUNNI (extremist) as you your self claim now and have brought up so many times before. ISIS is a SUNNI organization, one of the many with equal mindset. You in your comment directly confess your sect’s religious basis to approve the slaving of us non-Sunnis. Tara are you really living in USA with those opinions? Are you allowed to fly? Well when Trump comes to the driving wheel then …

Tara they (Persians, Putins and Assads) pay me about 200,000 euros per post. 3 million monthly divided by 15 monthly posts on average is that. I know Tara that you can not count so difficult “problems” with your 8 fingers and 9 toes, but the sum is about that. If you need work suggestions Tara, have you ever considered a professional camel rider in contests carrier in Saudi Arabia? Ups I forget in Saudi Arabia free Sunni women can not drive alone cars, so I believe also riding a camel without a man is impossible for free Sunni women. So we must continue finding you a profession. Now we have found out that no work for you as a propagandist, ISIS slave or a camel driver in SA.

In SA you free Sunni women are not able to buy alone a cup of coffee. Free indeed in a religious Sunni style. Should we speak about religious based FGM Tara?

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February 12th, 2016, 4:55 am


68. ALAN said:

Mr Putin! Please set up the second airfield in the north east of Syria with S400s and all electronic warfare equipment to block an american radars and electronic communications at the base. Without electronics the U.S. won’t be flying anything into there. The Russians brothers could demand registration of all flights in and out, forcing ” our partners ” into compliance with international law.

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February 12th, 2016, 2:22 pm


69. ALAN said:

Rothschild puppet George Soros pushing for war with Russia

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February 12th, 2016, 3:40 pm


70. Tara said:


And you confessed that you have dreams to be ISIS’ slave .

I think they pay you 10$ a post. And the way you are are now exposed , I think they are going to pay you $ 5 a post

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February 12th, 2016, 6:23 pm


72. Observer said:

Now Ghufran always makes fun of the Syrian people and in a sense this video is nice rebuttal of his pessimism regarding the Syrian people.
There are 24 million that are fully capable of replacing the fanatics on both sidesإلى-كل-شعب-سورية-معارضة-و-موالاة-أحمد/

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February 13th, 2016, 5:50 pm


73. SANDRO LOEWE said:


Your war-mongers and war crminals LAVROV, PUTIN, KERRY and OBAMA look as if executing the genocide will be not so easy as it seems.

Turkey starts attacks on kurdish and assadists mercenaries.

Saudi jets are ready for action in turkish airbases.

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February 13th, 2016, 6:27 pm


74. Ghufran said:

I agree that Syrians if given the tools are able to come up with a better and more accountable government, the choice between assad and the islsmists is not a choice it is a trap. Nusra is showing signs of weakening but they are in 12 provinces at least, that makes a cease fire very difficult to implement. Nusra’s pulling of fighters from Hama is an ominous sign for Nusra lovers.

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February 13th, 2016, 8:29 pm


75. Passerby said:

Hi Badr,

I think Russia’s requirement for continued support is somewhat moderate behavior in victory. To the extent any “moderate” rebels exist, they will be spared and the millions of refugees will be permitted to return safely etc.

I’d say they aren’t wedded to Assad, and maybe they’d press for somewhat less totalitarian rule, but they need a strong man and it’s the only option at the moment.

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February 13th, 2016, 8:57 pm


76. Passerby said:

Turkey strikes Kurd, regime forces in Syria, mulls ground attack

Someone needs to tell that Toad in Turkey that if he wants to go to war with Russia, he is on his own.

So, the Toad is bombing the Kurds to punish them for taking cities from ISIS, trying to drive them back so ISIS can take back control. Yeah, they have a problem with the Kurds, but we have a problem with ISIS that they are protecting. Ok, you go fight Russia and their S-400’s and ICBMS to protect ISIS.

Mercifully, Traitorbama is scared of his own shadow.

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February 13th, 2016, 9:09 pm


77. Ghufran said:


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February 13th, 2016, 10:51 pm


78. ALAN said:

/Saudi jets are ready for action in turkish airbases/.
Mr Putin! Please! set up the second airfield in the north of Syria with S400s and all electronic warfare equipment to block Jackal radars and electronic communications.Must prevail the Kurds in their war against the evil of ISIS.

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February 14th, 2016, 12:18 pm


79. Passerby said:

Look at it from Erdogan’s viewpoint, it’s a total disaster for him personally.

Turkey stuck with 3 million refugees unless they cut a deal with the triumphant Assad. All those Turkey supported, including the Turkmen decimated and driven out. A unified Syria with the pesky Kurds all along the border, and no bombing a healthy Syria, if you don’t want to be bombed in return. And of course, the oil bonanza cut off.

And all that trade with Russia…pfffft.

Not that public opinion decides anything in totalitarian regimes like in Turkey, but getting humiliated and hard economic times can’t make their job easier.

So, Erdogan is a cornered rat. Dangerous, nothing to lose.

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February 14th, 2016, 12:56 pm


80. ALAN said:

Syrian Cease-Fire? Nine Simple Questions.

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February 14th, 2016, 1:33 pm


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