In 2015, a Yazidi woman, who escaped from Islamic State militants, carried water at Sharya refugee camp on the outskirts of Iraq’s Dahuk province. (Ari Jala/Reuters)

Three years ago this month, the Islamic State started a systematic attack against the Kurdish-speaking Yazidi minority based in the Sinjar area of northwestern Iraq. We now have a better understanding of the militant group’s patterns of violence and goals because of the discovery of mass graves, survivor testimonies and the Islamic State’s public declarations.

This new evidence tells us that while the Islamic State’s extremist ideology provided the guiding principle, large numbers of locals with varying motives actively participated in these atrocities. The pursuit of material gains and stigmatization of the Yazidis as a marginalized religious minority have been the driving factors of the violence at the local level.…  Seguir leyendo »