Prince of Daesh-ravaged Yazidis dies in Germany

The Yazidi faith emerged in Iran more than 4,000 years ago and is rooted in Zoroastrianism, over time integrating elements of Islam and Christianity. (File/AFP)
Updated 28 January 2019

Prince of Daesh-ravaged Yazidis dies in Germany

  • Prince Tahseen Said Ali died in the KRH Siloah hospital in Hanover at the age of 85
  • Born in 1933 in Iraq’s northwest Sheikhan district, he was appointed head of the Yazidis at age 11 after the death of his father

IRBIL, Iraq: The longtime head of the world’s Yazidis, a minority whose Iraqi community was ferociously targeted by the Daesh group, has died in Germany after a long illness, officials said Monday.
Prince Tahseen Said Ali died in the KRH Siloah hospital in Hanover at the age of 85, according to the head of the Iraqi Kurdish region’s head of Yazidi affairs, Khairi Buzani.
Born in 1933 in Iraq’s northwest Sheikhan district, he was appointed head of the Yazidis at age 11 after the death of his father, who was the previous emir.
His son told local media that Prince Tahseen would be buried in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.
The region’s prime minister, Nechirvan Barzani, sent condolences to Prince Tahseen’s family on Monday.
The Yazidi faith emerged in Iran more than 4,000 years ago and is rooted in Zoroastrianism, over time integrating elements of Islam and Christianity.
With no holy book and organized into castes, Yazidis pray to God facing the sun and worship his seven angels — first and foremost Melek Taus, or Peacock Angel.
Of the world’s 1.5 million Yazidis, around 550,000 were living in the remote corners of northern Iraq where Prince Tahseen was born, and comprised the largest community before 2014.
Germany is home to the biggest Yazidi community abroad.
In 2014, the Daesh group rampaged across northern Iraq and seized the Yazidi bastion of Sinjar, near the border with Syria.
Daesh fighters slaughtered thousands of Yazidi men and boys, then abducted women and girls to be abused as “sex slaves.”
The brutal assault pushed around 360,000 Yazidis to flee to other parts of Iraq, including the Kurdish region, in addition to another 100,000 who left the country altogether.
The United Nations has said Daesh’s actions could amount to genocide, and is investigating the militant group’s atrocities across Iraq.
The Yazidi cause has found a powerful symbol in Nadia Murad, a former Daesh abductee from Sinjar who escaped and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism against sexual violence.
Murad visited Iraq’s Yazidi heartland of Sinjar last month, as well as Baghdad and the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil, to draw attention to the plight of thousands of abducted Yazidi girls who are still missing.


Bahrain to join US-led efforts to protect Gulf navigation

Updated 54 min 11 sec ago

Bahrain to join US-led efforts to protect Gulf navigation

  • Bahrain’s King Hamad voiced his appreciation of the US role in supporting 'regional security and stability'
  • US is seeking coalition to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Gulf

DUBAI: Bahrain said Monday it would join US-led efforts to protect shipping in the Arabian Gulf amid tensions between Washington and Tehran after a series of attacks on tankers.
Bahrain’s King Hamad voiced his country’s appreciation of the “US role in supporting regional security and stability” during a meeting with US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General Kenneth McKenzie, state media said.
“The king confirmed the kingdom of Bahrain’s participation in the joint effort to preserve the safety of international maritime navigation and secure international corridors for trade and energy,” the official Bahrain News Agency reported.
The US has been seeking to form a coalition to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Gulf.
Britain, which already has warships on protection duty in the Gulf after a UK-flagged tanker was seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards, has said it will join the planned operation.
But other European countries have declined to join, for fear of harming European efforts to rescue a 2015 treaty with Iran over its nuclear program.
Bahrain, which hosts the US Fifth Fleet, said last month that it would co-host a conference with the US on “maritime and air navigation security,” set for October.
Iran has seized three tankers in strategic Gulf waters since last month, including a British-flagged vessel.
That came after British Royal Marines helped impound a tanker carrying Iranian oil off the British overseas territory of Gibraltar on July 4.
Britain suspected it was destined for Syria in defiance of European Union sanctions, which Iran denies.
The US and its Gulf allies have also accused the Islamic republic of carrying out several mysterious attacks on ships in the region, which Tehran denies.