News Middle East

Thursday 18 September 2014

Up to 40,000 Iraqi civilians trapped on mountain - faced with choice of death by thirst or slaughter by Isis

Published 07/08/2014 | 09:13

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Thousands of Iraqis are stranded on a mountain in northern Iraq, faced with the choice of dying of thirst or being slaughtered by Isis fighters.

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It is estimated that between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians, including women and children, are trapped on Mount Sinjar after being driven out of their home villages in the Sinjar region on Sunday.

Thousands of families are faced with the choice of dying of thirst in the searing heat, or descend the mountain where they are encircled by Sunni extremists, the Washington Post reports.

The rocky terrain means those buried have been placed in shallow graves, covered with stones.

Iraqi government planes have attempted to drop bottled water onto the mountain but have failed to reach more than a few hundred people.

 “There are children dying on the mountain; on the roads,” Marzio Babille, Iraq representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), told the newspaper. 

“There is no water, there is no vegetation, they are completely cut off and surrounded. It’s a disaster, a total disaster.”

Smoke rises during clashes between Kurdish "peshmerga" troops and militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), on the outskirts of Sinjar, west of Mosul, August 5, 2014. Tens of thousands fled the weekend assault on Sinjar and are now surrounded, according to witnesses and the United Nations, after the Sunni militants inflicted a humiliating defeat on Kurdish forces who had held towns in the area for years. Picture taken August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT MILITARY)
Smoke rises during clashes between Kurdish "peshmerga" troops and militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), on the outskirts of Sinjar, west of Mosul, August 5, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Most of the civilians are from a minority ethnic group called the Yazidi sect.

They are considered to be ‘devil worshippers’ by terrorist group Isis.

Since the terrorist group have taken over the region of Sinjar, approximately 200,000 people have fleed the area, according to the UN.

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