International Security

Unknown Number of Yazidis Killed in Iraq


April 19, 2015 23:35 EDT

To this day, no one knows how many Yazidis were killed in Iraq by the Islamic State.

In August 2014, tens of thousands of Yazidis, a religious minority, fled an Islamic State onslaught. Many were killed or enslaved by the terrorist group.

Trapped on the Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq, Yazidis were surrounded as fear spread of ethnic cleansing. Kurdish Peshmerga forces temporarily withdrew from the area, leaving civilians behind.

As the plight of Yazidis caught the world’s attention, US President Barack Obama decided to assemble a coalition and intervene with airstrikes against the Islamic State, while planes dropped food and water supplies to those stranded on the mountain.

Kurdish fighters subsequently cleared a safe corridor, enabling thousands of Yazidis to flee the area. In late 2014, Peshmerga pushed the Islamic State out of large parts surrounding Sinjar, but the offensive stalled, leaving some Yazidis bewildered over the halt. Thousands of Yazidis are still missing.

In this video, Vice News photographer and filmmaker Freddie Paxton explains what he saw in Sinjar.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

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