Eyewitnesses on Kochu village massacre

Interviews by: Dawood Murad Khattari

 Kochu a beautiful village (population: 344 families, a total of 1603 individuals) that located (23 km) to the southwest of Sinjar town center, it belongs to Blige district.

 people of this village have been subjected by Islamic state Jihadists to the most heinous crime in the history where from 1603 individuals only (303 males and 271 females) managed it to survive while the numbers of dead and kidnapped persons count for (520 males and 509 females) and through a documentary study we will focus on this massacre and publish the facts in a series of episodes.

Eyewitness 1:

 Ehab Ali Jad'aan Al-Mandkani (born 1990, from Kochu village, a Student at Faculty of Arts - University of Dohuk / Stage IV) Says:

“In August 3rd, 2014, there was fighting in the nearby villages of (Siba-Sheikh-Khidir and Kirzarik villages), and at seven o'clock in the morning the fighting broke out in Til-Qassab village (Also a nearby village), for Kochu village it locates 23 km to the South-West of Sinjar city center and all the surrounding villages are Arab villages with exception of Hatimiah village which is a Yazidi village located about 8-10 Km to the north of Kochu".


Eyewitness 2:

Another survivor of this massacre, Marwan Jad'aan Halo, says: " we escaped Kochu village around 7 a.m. in the morning, I was with 40 other people from the village, ISIS rained us with bullets and they got us all arrested but somehow me, my son (Alan), Suhail Mahal, Hamdi Murad and Suha Murad we managed to escape ISIS troop and we run toward Sinjar mountain, we walked continuously for 10 hours feeling nothing but fear and dehydration, on the way we saw children dying of dehydration and after we made it to the top of Sinjar mount near Chil-Meran temple, we stayed there for 7 days helplessly without any food or water, we were cooking what we could find of wheat on the mount” but for the other journey partners who got arrested, He says: “for the others who got arrested, as far as we know, they took them to talafar city and they separated the males from females and separated the girls alone” .


Eyewitness 3:

  Izzat Abbas Ismael, from Kochu village, Says: “In August 3rd, 2014, 7 O’clock in the morning we fled Kochu village to Ali Jad’aan’s house in Sinjar city but we saw that the situation was getting critical even in Sinjar city so we run toward the mountain, on the way, my dad made me a phone call and asked me to return back home but my mother, 3 sisters and 4 kids, we decided to go on and I powered off my phone. Just near to the football playing field of Sinjar city we got arrested by ISIS and one of them told Me in Kurdish: (Beraz ku de ce?) which means: ( Hey, big! Where are you going?) And he continued in Kurdish to say (where are your PESHMERGA protection? Those who run away from the Islamic forces?) Then he spoke to all of us in an aggressive pitch (We managed to invade Sinjar very easily.) then he put the gun into my head and said (you pig, I will kill you) and all my family started to cry but he then he decided to keep me, we spent that night beside the football playing field and the next day we managed to escape and we headed toward the mountain until we reached Galy-Zaro valley while we stayed there for two nights in the caves then we went to the top of the mountain near Chil-Meran temple and we stayed there for 5 days without food, then we went to Karse Valley and from there to the Syrian border then to Rojava”.


Eyewitness 4:

Safwan Abbas Rasho, born 1998, one of the survivors from a real massacre, says:

 “We were home when PESHMERGA left, they said that they will go to fight ISIS and they will come back but, they didn’t. Some people were already fled the village toward the mountain but the majority of the people were still in the village when ISIS surrounded the village and the ISIS prince or Al-Ameer (Abu Hamza Al-Khatooni) arrived to the village, they asked for all the guns in the village and they took it and then he gave us a 6 days period to convert to Islam or face the death. After 6 days passed, the ISIS prince visited our village again and gave us another week to think about their offer of choosing between converting to Islam or death, in this period Ahmed Jaso, our tribe leader, was negotiated with them to treat us like what they did with the Christians of Mosul and that we will give them all we have and we will leave the village for them, after 2 days, a troop of 15 trucks full of ISIS jihadist came to our village and gathered us in the building of (Kochu high school for boys) after they gathered all the people in the building they took our phones, all our money and isolated the women in the second floor of the building, then the prince or Al-Ameer (Abu Hamza Al-Khatooni) said: (We told you to leave your ignorance and enter into the Islam but you didn’t)”

“They told us that the well took us now to Sinjar Mountain and then they isolated us in groups and shipped us in cars to outside the village, they first group was of 30 – 40 people, they executed them in a a nearby valley 500 meters south of the village and I was in the second group with 24 others from my village and ISIS took us outside the village (about 100 meters to the east of the villages) and asked us to face a wall, knell on knees and told us that you didn’t convert to Islam and you deserve death and then they started to open fire on us, I received four bullet and I felt down after they got done with us they brought the third and the forth groups to some nearby places and they opened fire on them I was hearing the sound of the firing guns after ISIS soldiers left me and other wounded man we run toward a nearby valley between Kochu and Hatimiah villages, from there we walked on our wounds in the night and we made it to “Sharaf-Al-deen” temple in the mount of Sinjar after 5 nights walking without food” he added.