Iraq's displaced minorities housed in Kurdish region

Around 20,000 Iraqis from vulnerable minorities who have been displaced by IS militants over the past 2 days seek refuge in the Sulaymaniyah province of the Iraqi Kurdish Region

Iraq's displaced minorities housed in Kurdish region

World Bulletin/News Desk

Around 20 thousand people, who fled Mosul over the last two days amid attacks by ISIL militants, have been housed in several districts within the Sulaymaniyah province of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government. 

The displaced civilians including Ezidis, Turkmen, Shabaks and Christians, who came to seek refuge in the city of Sulaymaniyah, have been housed in various districts within the province including the town of Arbat located 15 km away from the city center.

"The IDPs (internally displaced people) have been housed in schools, but they could be moved to tents in the Syrian refugee camp if necessary," Arbat Governor Hakim Hosyar told the Anadolu Agency, in reference to the Arbat Refugee Camp which opened in August 2013. 

"We fled not to save our lives, but to protect our women," Sair Hidir, 22, said, adding that he fled from Mosul with his family mainly to protect his sisters from being taken captive by Islamic State (IS) militants.

"I know the pain these people are going through. So I bought some food supplies for them with some of the money I earned at the workers' market here. I will do my best to lessen their pain," said Ala Abdullah, one of around 3,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees who has been staying at the Arbat Refugee Camp for the past year.

Amid fierce clashes with the Iraqi army and Peshmerga, IS militants have tightened their grip on northern Iraq, seizing towns with minority populations, as well as Iraq’s largest dam near Mosul.

The militants captured Sinjar and Rabia in the Nineveh province last week, forcing thousands of Turkmen, Arabs, Christians and Ezidis to flee.

At least 80 Ezidi refugees from Iraq arrived Friday in Turkey’s south-eastern province of Mardin and about 400 more sought refuge in Silopi district in the neighboring Sirnak province having crossed the Harbur border post. The refugees have been placed in tents and post-earthquake houses in the region. 

The violence in Iraq escalated in early June after a coalition of armed groups linked to the Islamic State took control of large swathes of the country's predominantly Sunni provinces.

The conflict between the army and militants entered a new stage in July when insurgents captured a number of key cities and towns in Iraq.

The Iraqi army has staged military operations against IS-led militants and over a million civilians have been displaced so far amid the ongoing clashes in the north and west of the country.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Ağustos 2014, 10:58

Muhammed Öylek

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