A leading commander of Yazidi volunteer forces resisting the advance of ISIS guerrillas was killed by mortar fire on Wednesday, according to Breitbart News sources. Khairi Murad Shex Khider, who led several hundred Yazidi fighters in the area of Skiniya, died after running out of ammunition and being hit by ISIS mortars while trying to retreat and resupply. Yazidi activists now fear that Mt. Sinjar could be overrun by ISIS without U.S. help.
In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News, Yazidi activist Murad Hasan Ismail said:
Khairi led about 300 to 400 Yazidi fighters, a group of local volunteers who proved highly effective in defending Yazidi villages against ISIL. Khairi Murad’s group of volunteer defenders caused more damage to ISIL than any other group in Sinjar…
A representation of resistance against the ISIL invasion, the loss of Khairi Murad Shex Khider is devastating for Yazidis worldwide. He was one of the few figures that has defended Sinjar on the frontline with ISIL, in the absence of any protection from Iraqi or Kurdish forces. Khairi was a leading figure of the Yazidi Protection Forces that–with few weapons and little aid–have prevented ISIL from conquering parts of Mt. Sinjar until today. When the Kurdish Peshmerga fled upon the initial ISIL attack on Aug. 3, it was a few volunteer leaders like Khairi Murad who stayed to defend the civilians that remained in their villages on the mountain….
This loss will create a vacuum, especially on the southern side of Mt. Sinjar, which will be a possible route for ISIL to take the whole mountain, possibly in a very short time….We don’t have time; we are in danger of losing Sinjar entirely which will make several thousand more civilians vulnerable to ISIL’s campaign of slaughter and kidnapping.
According to sources, Khairi had been fighting ISIS fighters who had attempted to “infiltrate” the area “dressed in women clothes.” Airstrikes against ISIS have helped, but more aid is needed, according to a quote from a Yazidi fighter provided to Breitbart News: “The mountain is sieged from all four directions, we can only receive supplies by air, which is very rare and we are in dire need for ammunition, heavy weapons, and food.”
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak