DUHOK, Kurdistan Region—Hundreds of Yezidi families are still stranded on Mount Shingal and left at the mercy of the elements.
“The worst news for those on the mountain is that it might rain or that it is going to be cold,” says Xalaf Tamo, a Yezidi refugee on Mount Shingal.
Around 10,000 Yezidi men, women and children have remained on Mount Shingal since August when they fled the advance of the Islamic State (ISIS) militants into their area.
“Our situation in terms of food and winter shelter isn’t very good,” says Tamo. “The relief helicopters haven’t come here for a few days due to bad weather.”
Some of the families have stayed to tend to their livestock while a number of men have created a Yezidi vigilante force to protect their mountain shelter.
Qasim Simer, the commander of the Yezidi force says that the threat of ISIS hasn’t gone away completely.
“The ISIS militants frequently attack and try to reach the mountain, but we repel them every time,” he told Rudaw.
Most of the roads leading to the mountain are under ISIS control and all assistance is delivered to them by helicopter organized by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).