Iraq: death and desperation on Mount Sinjar

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Tens of thousands of people, many of them members of the Kurdish Yazidi community, have been trapped for days on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq without food or shelter.

They fled their hometowns, the town of Sinjar and surrounding villages, which were seized by Islamic State (IS) militants on August 2.

Dozens of people have also reportedly starved to death on the mountainside.

The Iraqi Ministry for Human Rights said that at least 500 Yazidis had been killed since the start of the Islamic State’s offensive.

Kurdish peshmerga forces have brought aid to the area and reportedly managed to evacuate several thousand people.

The US has carried out several air drops of humanitarian aid to northern Iraq.

The UK has completed its first aid drop on Saturday (August 9) night, when an RAF C130 Hercules delivered supplies including clean water and filtration devices.

The Islamic State is a jihadist group that has seized large swathes of territory across Syria as well as Iraq.

“If the international community continues to take no action, the jihadists will soon infiltrate the entire Middle East. I believe they have a presence in many Arab countries, so they can launch attacks at any time,” said Syrian analyst Tarek Abdu.

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