Tens of thousands flee IS assault in North Iraq

Geneva - Tens of thousands of people have fled an assault by Islamic State on the town of Sinjar in northern Iraq on Sunday and are now surrounded, the United Nations said on Monday.

Islamic State inflicted a severe defeat on Iraq's Kurds on Sunday, when it made a rapid advance through three towns to reach the Mosul Dam, the largest in Iraq and a major source of electricity.

Previously, an estimated 308 000 people lived in the district of Sinjar. As the insurgents advanced, many fled to Sinjar Mountain, or Jebel Sinjar, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

"The exact number of displaced people on Jebel Sinjar is unknown; however, reports indicate that some 35-50 000 people displaced in nine locations, reportedly surrounded by IS (Islamic State) armed elements.

There are reports, to be verified, of children already dying for lack of water and other assistance among those trapped," the OCHA statement said.

A further 30 000 people, mainly women and children, have made their way to Dahuk governorate in Kurdistan, with more expected in coming days, OCHA said.

"It is likely that displaced people on Jebel Sinjar are surrounded by IS forces. Based on a number of reports from the displaced population, there is an immediate need for water, food, fuel, shelter and health services."

The Iraqi army was assessing the possibility of humanitarian air drops over the mountain, the statement said.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered his air force for the first time to back Kurdish forces against Islamic State fighters after the militants made their dramatic push through the north, state television reported on Monday.

The insurgents control the two roads down the Sinjar Mountain and are attacking families moving along the roads, which lead to Sinjar town and the Syrian border crossing at Rabya, OCHA said.

It added that it had not independently verified the information but that it was "assessed as fairly reliable and probably true".

The Rabya border crossing itself was contested on Monday, with armed clashes between IS insurgents and Kurdish peshmerga fighters, OCHA said.

- Reuters
Read more on: un ocha is nuri al-maliki iraq
non-believer 2014-08-05 10:45:48 AM
what? no comments from our Arab supporter community? As has always been said, as long as Arabs kill Arabs, there is no problem (except for the poor victims)
Sisie Indola 2014-08-05 11:00:32 AM
So where is the outcry against this - or is it okay to shout and scream when it is Palestine & Israel and don't forget the protests - its not because you are for human rights it is just because you are anti-Israel. Hypocrisy at its best.
James Uknow 2014-08-05 11:20:09 AM
where is America and Britain now ,and their puppet Arab countries ,this is disgracefull ,Israel instead of killing innocent civillians why not get involved here
Mikaeel Adam 2014-08-05 11:27:46 AM
I quote, ...'no force will able to stop them'
Mikaeel Adam 2014-08-05 11:31:05 AM
The facts in this article leave much to be desired and I honestly do not believe any of the hogwash. How do we know this picture is from Iraq? I quote, 'It had not independently verified the information but its probably true' What crap is this? Another body fed some sort of brainwashed information and its not verified but probably true... Sorry, I am not convinced in the least...
Mikaeel Adam 2014-08-05 11:31:45 AM
editor, stop removing my comments!!
Mikaeel Adam 2014-08-05 12:13:18 PM
google light of revelations pt18 and watch it...
Michael Ndalama Mwale 2014-08-05 12:44:49 PM
If there are people whom the world must confine to psychiatric facilities, it is these Islamists. A mentally sound person can never impose his will on other people - forcing them to pray 5 times a day; to dress in a certain way; to eat certain foods; not to drink alcohol etc., as if they were his or her own creations.
Willem Proost 2014-08-05 03:53:53 PM
More EU Islamic immigrants just what Europe needs.America big plan to create EU market share.Sarel wake up