|• Total||2,000 (before ISIS massacre)|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (GMT+3)|
Kocho (or Kojo, Kurdish: کۆچۆ ,Koço, Arabic: كوجو) is a Yazidi village in the Sinjar District, southern of the Sinjar Mountains in the Nineveh Governorate of northern Iraq. It belongs to the disputed territories of Northern Iraq. The village gained international fame in 2014 through the genocide of the Islamic State on the Yazidis.
Kocho is like the entire region of Sinjar, one of the most controversial areas in northern Iraq and belongs to the disputed territories of northern Iraq. According to article 140 of the Iraqi constitution, a referendum should decide on the status of the village and the fate of its inhabitants. Since 2003, the village has been occupied by Kurdish Peshmerga troops, who escaped from the village on 2 August 2014. On 3 August 2014, the Islamic State took control over the whole village. On 25 May 2017, Iraqi forces and Yazidi militias liberated the village from ISIS. In March 2019, mass grave exhumations began in Kocho.
In Kocho only Yazidis lived and these were mainly farmers.
Massacre of Yazidis from Kocho
On 3 August 2014, the Islamic State committed genocide against the Yazidis. The massacre could only happen because the Kurdish Peshmerga had fled from the ISIS and left the Yazidis defenseless. The Islamic State had imprisoned the Yazidi for 12 days in the village and then gave the Yazidis an ultimatum of three days, the Yazidis were to convert to Islam, or the IS would kill them all, since the Yazidis refused to convert to Islam, the massacre started on the 15 August 2014. The IS separated the men from the women and children and took them all to the secondary school of the village, where the people had to hand over their mobile phones and jewelry. An estimated 1826 Yazidis lived in the village of Kocho. The Islamic State beheaded about 600 Yazidi men, some were burned or shot alive. The bodies of the people, including some who were alive, were all thrown into mass graves. Subsequently, the IS abducted more than 1,000 Yazidi children and women from the village. The under-14s were taken to IS military camps where they were trained to become IS terrorists, and the Yazidi women and girls were held as slaves and sexually abused. Previously, 90 Yazidis (including 12-year-old boys) were shot dead by IS terrorists in the neighboring village of Qiniyeh on 3 August 2014.
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