What is it about?

The last decade has seen an increase in mass atrocity crimes (such as genocide) committed by non-state actors, including by terrorist groups. There are, however, prevention measures that can be used in cases where mass atrocities are about to happen. This article discusses how such action was taken in 2014 in an effort to prevent the imminent genocide of a religious minority group in northern Iraq.

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Why is it important?

The US actions in Iraq in 2014 were an effective response to an impending mass atrocity. Over 40 000 civilians were saved. This is a rare case of preventative action being taken. In the majority of cases, action is only taken after an atrocity is perpetrated. As the threat of atrocity crimes by terrorist groups increase, these sort of rare cases are important models that warrant further analysis.


The ideas in this article started as my master's thesis many years ago. What started as an interest in mass atrocity prevention has ballooned into a passion and a nearly completed PhD. I hope this article makes people think that 'never again' is possible.

Josie Hornung
University of Queensland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Terrorism and Pillar Two Protection Assistance: The Yazidis on Mount Sinjar, Global Responsibility to Protect, April 2022, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/1875-984x-20220002.
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