Children are among the tens of thousands stuck for days in the Shingal mountains, where dozens have already died of starvation and thirst. Photo: Rudaw
BAGHDAD, Iraq – A Yezidi MP in the Iraqi parliament broke down in tears as she pleaded for immediate help for thousands from her community stuck for days on an arid mountain, where more than 60 children and the elderly have died of starvation and thirst.
“We are being slaughtered under the banner of ‘there is no God but Allah,’” Vian Dakhil told MPs, referring the families who fled to the outskirts of Shingal, which fell to Islamic State (IS/ISIS) militants on Saturday.
In tears, Dakhil said that an entire religion is being exterminated by the Islamic zealots, who remain holed up in Shingal under heavy fire from Peshmerga forces.
“There is now a campaign of genocide being waged on the Yazidis,” Dakhil said.
“Brothers, leave all political disputes aside, we want humanitarian solidarity! Speak here in the name of humanity: save us! save us!” Dakhil appealed.
She added that, “Thirty-thousand families are besieged in the Shingal mountains without water and food. They are dying. Seventy babies have died,” she said.
“Our women are taken as slaves and sold in the slave market,” Dakhil said, referring to the IS practice of taking women as war booty.
Yezidi leaders have continued to seek international help for the tens of thousands displaced by the ongoing fighting and are at imminent risk of death.
They have reported that over the past three days the militants have killed many from the community and taken 500 Yezidi women as hostages. IS fighters have posted pictures of dead Yezidis on the Internet.
Earlier this week, Kurdish President Massoud Barzani vowed to “defend Shingal and our Yezidi brothers and sisters.”
IS fighters, who have already driven out Christians from their ancestral homes in northern Iraq – including Zumar -- have been especially targeting the Yezidis, a gentle community they consider to be “devil worshipers.”
The United Nations has called the situation in Shingal and other parts of Nineveh province “a humanitarian disaster.”
With no Iraqi forces left in those regions, the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters remain the only barrier between the militants and the Kurdish community of Yezidis and Christians in the province.
On Monday, Barzani ordered more than 10,000 Kurdish fighters into an offensive against IS, which has declared an Islamic Caliphate in captured territories in Iraq and Syria, with its capital in Mosul. Iraq’s second-largest city fell to the militants in June.
Rudaw video from Shingal mountain: http://rudaw.net/sorani/kurdistan/0608201422?keyword=60