More than 300 thousand displaced Yezidi Kurds in Kurdistan Region
The Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister’s envoy for people who fled ISIS terrorist organization from Sinjar, Dr. Nouri Osman Sinjari, said that since the capture of the town by ISIS, 263,000 have fled to Duhok, 20,000 to Erbil, 20,000 to Slemani, and a few to neighbouring Turkey and Syria. He said many have been rescued from Sinjar Mountain.
In an interview with KRG.org, Dr. Nouri said the “KRG established this special representation office to monitor the situation and assess the needs of displaced people who fled ISIS persecution from Sinjar and its environs and who sought refuge in the Kurdistan Region due to the takeover of their homeland”. With the arrival of winter rains and colder temperatures their needs have greatly increased.
About 10,000 people, mostly Yezidi Kurds, have decided to remain on Sinjar Mountain with Peshmerga and volunteer fighters to defend their homeland. The Prime Minister’s envoy explained, “Those still on the mountain remain by choice because they do not want to leave their homes. Some evacuated earlier but have returned to defend their homeland. Some even came from Europe and have been killed in fighting ISIS terrorists.”
Iraqi and US forces continue to airdrop humanitarian supplies, including food and medicine, and the ill and injured are being evacuated. This action continues in cooperation with the Federal Government of Iraq. He lauded the support of the Iraqi President Dr. Fuad Masoum and Iraqi Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Babakir Zebari.
However, Dr. Nouri Osman Sinjari highlighted insufficient response by the Iraqi government in meeting the emergency needs of the displaced people who fled to the Kurdistan Region. The Region is host to 1.4 million displaced people from center-south Iraq, including 70,000 Christians and 300,000 Yezidis from Nineveh Governorate, and more than 200,000 refugees from Syria.
With the Federal Government of Iraq suspending funding to the Kurdistan Region since January, meeting the emergency needs of this exceptionally high number of displaced people has been particularly difficult.