Only the lonely Sinjar Mountain gives topographic relief to the upper end of the Mesopotamian plains of northwestern Iraq. Its narrow ridge struggles to pierce the Syrian border. The mountain's history is as radical as itself, and has been home to Yezidian people for centuries. Today the Yezidis are still there, but the world has changed. In the 1980s Saddam Hussein sought to lessen the threats of his regime's enemies (real or perceived) through ethnic dilution. He moved Muslim Kurds and Arabs into the region, while at the same time forcably moving the Yezidis from their villages to collective villages on the plains below. The Yezidis were continually adapting to the fluid forces of politics, war, and persecution in the intervening years, but that came to a brutal end with the self-proclaimed Islamic State's horrific attack in August 2014.