Thousands of Yezidis still stranded on Mount Sinjar

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Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate August 11, 2014. File photo

ARA News

Cologne, Germany – Several villages of Yezidi Kurds in Shingal, northern Iraq, are still in the hands of Islamic State’s (IS/ISIL) radicals, causing continuing displacement and the sufferings of thousands of Yezidis. 

For fear of killing, kidnapping, raping of women or other atrocities committed by the extremists of IS, thousands of Yezidis have been displaced for months and have taken shelter in Kurdish areas of Syria and Iraq. 

Moreover, hundreds of Yezidi families are still besieged on Mount Sinjar, under the threat of IS attacks. 

Following her tour in Shingal where she met besieged families and fighters defending the region, Mimi Hassan, representative of Kanya Sipi Social Association, returned to Germany to uncover stories of Yezidi families suffering harsh humanitarian conditions in northern Iraq.

Speaking to ARA News in Cologne, Hassan said: “More than 1200 Yezidi families are stranded on Mount Sinjar, living in inappropriate tents. They need urgent humanitarian assistance.”

“Families living near Chel Mira shrine in Sinjar are obliged to walk more than 3km to get potable water,” Hassan added.

She mentioned her meeting with Yezidi girls and women previously kidnapped by IS, saying: “They were unable to talk about what happened to them. They obviously suffer psychological trauma.”

“However, they are respected by their parents and husbands,” she said, after uncovering incidents of rape by IS militants against dozens of Yezidi women. 

Hassan pointed out that a group of fighters led by Qasim Shisho –a Yezidi military officer– was defending the area along with other Kurdish fighters from Syrian and Iraq. 

“Despite the light weapons they were carrying, they caused massive losses to the IS ranks. They are determined to protect the beleaguered civilians on Mount Sinjar,” Hassan told ARA News

“I appeal to the competent organizations and international actors to assist those families, especially now that winter is approaching and they lack minimum supplies in the forest,” she said.

The Islamic State attacks on Shingal caused massive displacement in which tens of thousands of people left their villages and towns, and more than 4 thousand women and children were reportedly kidnapped by IS. 

 

Reporting by: Ali Isso

Source: ARA News

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