The following is a first-hand account documented by Clarion Project’s Legal Analyst Jennifer Breedon from her recent trip to Iraq with Clarion Project’s National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro:
Ibrahim was distressed. As a village farmer, father and husband he had continued to hear reports about a new militant group headed right their way. Iraqi Central forces and Kurdish Peshmerga were busy trying to gather forces and learn about what was needed to fight this new extremist militant group. Reports had come in that militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) were taking over villages one by one.
Ibrahim and his village are Kurdish Kakai people. The Kakai people lived peacefully in the Nineveh Plains Province of Northern Iraq and were now faced with the real possibility that their small village would be taken over next.
The Kakai people are of Kurdish ethnicity but adhere to a different religion that includes elements of monotheism along with regular prayer. It is a peaceful religion. They get along well with Christians, Yazidis and moderate Muslims, as do most of the Kurdish and non-Kurdish people living in the region.