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Yazidi People

Updated on January 1, 2015

It is human nature to desire to live freely, and to fight for that freedom. The Yazidis are Kurdish people who reside in the autonomous region of northern Iraq. A mostly unknown ethnic-community, has gained international attention due to the violence against them by the radial extremist group, the Islamic State (IS). Comprised mainly of fighters who initially joined the rebels to fight in the Syrian civil war, IS rebels vowed to purify and unify the surrounding cities. With the only option of accepting and abiding by their extreme beliefs, the United Nations has estimated some 40,000 Yazidi’s fled to the nearby mountains. The number of deaths is still unknown. The United States and other superpowers have pledged to fight IS and prevent them for from atrocities in the region, through airstrikes and counter surveillance. Little of this matters to the tens of thousands of refugees whose main goal is to survive in the arid and unhospitable mountainous region. Make shift camps which serve as temporary shelter, can be a breeding ground for disease. Many children and adults in these camps now suffer from malnutrition, and dehydration, and with no sanitation facilities, sickness, and even death has become a routine part of daily life. Most attempts to dig wells or receive aid packages have gone unsuccessful, and with winter soon approaching the hardship is looming.

Aid in the form of water, food, solar lanterns and other essential supplies have been spotty at best. The British forces, alongside the US have championed a somewhat successful humanitarian effort to those braving the war struck region, however the international community, according to a piece in the PoliticsHome website stated “The international community can pour as much aid into the region as it likes. But unless Islamic State fighters are killed and removed from the battlefield, they will go on killing and committing further atrocities.” With world weary of a decade long war in the Middle East, many countries are simply not able or willing to provide the much needed aid.

The Pershmerga fighters in recent months have been making successful strides in regaining control of cities once controlled by the IS, however without further aid and a cumulative effort from the international community to impede the IS permanently the onslaught could potentially spread well beyond its borders. There is hope according to journalists who have visited those fleeing the Sinjar province, but hope does not guarantee safety, nor does it fill a starving stomach.

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