Yazidis in Syria

Yazidis in Syria may refer to people born in or residing in Syria of Yazidi origin[3] or ethnicity[4] who are strictly endogamous and speak the Kurmanji language of the Kurdish languages.[3]

Yazidis in Syria
Total population
40,000[1][2] (est.)
Kurmanji, Arabic
Yazidism (Sharfadin)

The Yazidi religion dates back to pre-Islamic times. During the 15th and 16th centuries, they migrated from southern Turkey and settled in their present mountainous stronghold of Jabal Sinjar in northeastern Syria and Iraq. Although some are scattered in Turkey and the Armenia, Iraq is the center of their religious life, the home of their Amir, and of the tomb of their most revered saint, Sheikh Adi.

Yazidis in Syria live primarily in two communities, one in the Al-Jazira area and the other in the Kurd-Dagh.[3] Population numbers for the Syrian Yazidi community are unclear. In 1963, the community was estimated at about 10,000, according to the national census, but numbers for 1987 were unavailable.[5] There may be between about 12,000 and 15,000 Yazidis in Syria today,[3][6] though more than half of the community may have emigrated from Syria since the 1980s.[7] Estimates are further complicated by the arrival of as many as 50,000 Yazidi refugees from Iraq during the Iraq War.[7] Since 2014, some Yazidis of Iraq have entered Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria to escape the Genocide of Yazidis by ISIL.[8][9][10]

In 2014, there were about 40,000 Yazidis in Syria, primarily in the Al-Jazirah.[11]

See also


  1. "Yazidi in Syria Between acceptance and marginalization" (PDF). KurdWatch. kurdwatch.org. p. 4. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  2. Andrea Glioti (October 18, 2013). "Yazidis Benefit From Kurdish Gains in Northeast Syria". al-monitor. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  3. Allison, Christine (February 20, 2004). "Yazidis i: General". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  4. Chapman, Chris; Taneja, Preti (2009). Uncertain refuge, dangerous return: Iraq's uprooted minorities. Minority Rights Group International. p. 8.
  5. Federal Research Division. Syria. "Chapter 5: Religious Life". Library of Congress Country Studies. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  6. Commins, David Dean (2004). Historical Dictionary of Syria. Scarecrow Press. p. 282. ISBN 0-8108-4934-8. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  7. Megalommatis, Muhammad Shamsaddin (February 28, 2010). "Dispersion of the Yazidi Nation in Syria, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Europe: Call for UN Action". American Chronicle. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  8. Sly, Liz (August 10, 2014). "Exodus from the mountain: Yazidis flood into Iraq following US airstrikes". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
  9. Chulov, Martin (August 11, 2014). "Yazidis tormented by fears for women and girls kidnapped by Isis jihadis". Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  10. Krohn, Jonathan (August 10, 2014). "Iraq crisis: 'It is death valley. Up to 70 per cent of them are dead'". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  11. Khalifa, Mustafa (2013), The impossible partition of Syria, Arab Reform Initiative, pp. 3–5

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress document: Thomas Collelo, ed. (1987). Syria: A country study. Federal Research Division. Yazidis.

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