Incident Summary:

08/03/2014: Assailants attacked Yizidi civilians in Sinjar, Nineveh, Iraq. At least 953 people were killed and 5,350 people were abducted in the assault. At least 2,958 hostages have been released as of April 26, 2020 while the whereabouts of the remaining victims are unknown. This was one of three related incidents in Sinjar on this date and one of four attacks in early August 2014 comprising the Sinjar massacre. No group claimed responsibility; however, sources attributed the attack to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).




Middle East & North Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Not Applicable
Specific Description Yizidi Civilians
Nationality of Target Iraq
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 5350
US Hostages 0
Outcome Combination
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information This incident is part of a set of coordinated attacks in which both military and non-military entities were targeted. An unknown number of the hostages were released on January 17, 2015 and 216 hostages were released on April 8, 2015. Additionally, at least 27 of the abducted women were reportedly sold into marriage.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 953 Fatalities
Total Number of Fatalities 953
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured Unknown
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Freed From ISIS, Yazidi Women Return in 'Severe Shock'," The New York Times, July 27, 2017.
"Dozens of Yazidi women 'sold into marriage' by jihadists: NGO," Agence France Presse -- English, August 30, 2014.
"WATCH: Yazidi sisters reunite after three years of being kidnapped by IS," Times of Malta, December 22, 2017.