In August 2014, the world learned that thousands of Yazidi men had been massacred by ISIS in northern Iraq, women and girls were being abducted, and tens of thousands of survivors were trapped on a mountainside.

The U.S. dropped aid packages for the members of the small ethnic group, whose minority religion resembles ancient Zoroastrianism, but it helped make them a target for ISIS fighters.

Here’s a look back at the attack on the Yazidis, which a United Nations human rights committee declared to be genocide in 2016.

2014 – August

Iraq’s human rights ministry says that thousands of young Yazidi women have been captured by ISIS and taken to Mosul.

“We think that the terrorists by now consider them slaves and they have vicious plans for them,” a ministry spokesperson tells The Associated Press.

Yazidis flee

This image made from video taken on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014 shows Iraqis people from the Yazidi community arriving in Irbil in northern Iraq. (AP Photo via AP video)

2015 – April

Human Rights Watch investigators speak to 20 women who confirm the world’s worst fears.

Half of the victims, including two girls under 12, report having been raped by ISIS fighters. Several of the women report attempted suicide. Others say they witnessed suicides after forced religious conversions.

2016 – April

A CTV News team travels to the Qadiya refugee camp in northern Iraq.

CTV Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme interviews Hanif, whose family was torn apart by ISIS. Hanif was separated from her husband and turned into a slave. Their four daughters were forced to marry ISIS fighters.

Lisa LaFlamme speaks to Hanif and her sons.

Lisa LaFlamme speaks to Hanif and her son in the Qadiya refugee camp. (Bruce Campion-Smith / The Toronto Star)

2016 – July

The Conservatives push the Liberal government to fast-track the resettlement of Yazidi refugees.

But data shows the Conservatives had accepted few Yazidis while in office. Experts point out that the UN does not consider religion or ethnicity when selecting people for resettlement. Still, the parties work together on a solution.

2016 – October

Nadia Mura Basee Taha, an escaped Yazidi sex slave and UN Goodwill Ambassador for human trafficking, bears witness to a House of Commons vote acknowledging the genocide and committing to offering safe haven to Yazidi women and girls.

The motion passes unanimously: 313-0.

Nadia Mura

Nadia Mura Basee is recognized by the speaker after Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

2017 – February

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says roughly 400 survivors of ISIS atrocities have already been accepted to Canada, including about 300 Yazidis. Unlike Syrian refugees, they are kept from the media spotlight.

Hussen commits to resettling a total of 1,200 survivors of ISIS by the end of 2017.

2017 – October

Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar, who both escaped sexual enslavement at the hands of ISIS, win the EU’s Sakharov Prize for human rights.

The announcement comes just as Iraqi forces backed by the U.S. Amy re-take Mosul from ISIS.

2017 – November

A total of 807 refugees who were victims of ISIS have arrived in Canada, and 81 per cent are Yazidi. Hundreds more are in the process of being potentially resettled.

Canadians learn that most are living in Winnipeg, Calgary, Toronto and London, Ont.


Emad Mishko Tamo, centre, stands with uncle Hadji Tamo and his mother Nofa Mihlo Rafo as he's reunited with friends and family at Winnipeg's James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski)

2018 – February

Two Yazidi cousins who lost each other while fleeing are unexpectedly reunited in Winnipeg.

Laila Mishko spent seven days hiding on Mount Sinjar without food and water. Hari Moussa escaped to a refugee camp after becoming separated from her husband.

Yazidi family

Hari Moussa, left, and Laila Mishko have been reunited in Winnipeg, more than three years after they fled ISIS in Iraq. (CTV Winnipeg)

2018 – October

Nadia Murad Basee accepts a Nobel Peace Prize for her work to end sexual assault as a weapon of war.

“Many Yazidis will look upon this prize and think of family members that were lost, are still unaccounted for, and of the 1,300 women and children, which remain in captivity,” she says in her speech.