Feeling Yazidis of Iraq Continue to Suffer at the Mountains

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By Kalyan Kumar | August 13, 2014 3:08 PM EST

Yazidis, the worst victims of the Islamic State militant attacks in Northern Iraq, have fled to Sinjar Mountains for safety, are seeing no immediate end for their sufferings.

Reuters
Members of the Iraqi security forces and volunteers, who have joined the security forces to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), shout slogans on the outskirts of the town of Udaim in Diyala province, June 22, 2014.

Though the U.S. air-dropped food, water and medicines for thousands of them, the religious minority is not feeling safe.  A Reuters report gave a graphic account of the sufferings that Yazdis faced in the mountains with narratives from the some of the survivors.

Families Separated

Many Yazidis struggled into Kurdish town of Dohuk after escaping the IS deathtrap at Mount Sinjar. In that process, they even left close relatives back in the mountains, fearing death.

It quoted the agony of Dakheel, a shepherd, who fled with family to the rocky gullies of Sinjar. In his return journey, he left his 95-year-old mother at a mountain cave and set off on a grueling walk to safety. He was deeply anguished, but his aged mother consoled him that she will stay there and told him to "go and save yourselves."

Similarly, several thousand Yazidis, climbed down the western side of the mountain and travelled to the Syrian border to cross into the Kurdish region.

Yazidis Most Vandalised

In northern Iraq, Yazidis were the most brutalised sect. The Sunni-led IS fighters forced them to convert to Islam or face death. Facing brutal attacks and torture from the wave of Islamic State fighters, Yazidis fled to the mountains, leaving their villages and homes. The IS fighters, who are heavily armed and moving in armoured vehicles with raised black flags, ran over many towns and villages in Northern Iraq.

According to one Khalaf Hajji, when his group fled to the mountains, snipers were chasing them. Many Yazidi girls threw themselves from the top of the mountains. Hundreds of Yazidi women got captured by IS men and made them slaves.

Hunger and Death

The fleeing men and women had no food. They could not carry water and medicines and the scorching sun made things worse. Mural, a policeman gave a horrific account of 30 people who died of hunger at the mountains. He recalled how a man became so desperate and killed his five sisters and later killed himself, unable to bear the agony.

Mural, a policeman, said when militants took over Sinjar, some frustrated IS men who could not remove the rings from the fingers of women, cut off their fingers.

Iraq's human rights minister, Mohammed Shiva al-Sudani, also told Reuters that the Islamic State fighters killed at least 500 Yazidis in which many women and children, were buried alive. 

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(Photo: Reuters / Stringer)
Members of the Iraqi security forces and volunteers, who have joined the security forces to fight against the predominantly Sunni militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), shout slogans on the outskirts of the town of Udaim in Diyala province, June 22, 2014.
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