Displaced Iraqis await to be transferred to camps behind Kurdish Peshmerga lines. Photo: Rudaw
NINEVEH, Iraq - At least 500 families fleeing the ISIS-held primarily Turkmen town of Tal Afar in western Nineveh reached the sanctuary of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces on Tuesday.
Rudaw’s Ayub Nasri reported from the scene that the 500 families had fled Tal Afar and its surroundings, and they will later be transferred to Hamam Alil camp after they had reached Kurdish Peshmerga frontlines.
Nasri explained the families were living in dire conditions and lack of food had forced them to flee.
The outpouring of internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing for their lives as the area is embroiled in intense clashes between ISIS and Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi fighters has been a problem for the past several days.
After the refugees are inspected, they will be moved to the camps.
An estimated 50,000 people are still believed to be trapped in the town.
Sunni Turkmen in the city say they do not fear ISIS alone, but also retribution at the hands of the Hashd al-Shaabi.
Tal Afar, 60 kilometers west of Mosul, has been under ISIS control since mid-2014.
Since after the start of the Iraqi and Kurdish offensive to evict ISIS from Mosul and the surrounding areas on Oct. 17, the Hashd forces have been fighting on the city’s western front, tasked with closing the route between Mosul and the militants’ so-called capital, the Syrian city of Raqqa.