Islamic State fighters have moved within close proximity to the Yazidi population stranded on Mt. Sinjar. On Monday, the militants overtook two Yazidi villages after volunteer militiamen fled due to sustained incoming gunfire.
The limited Yazidi volunteer defense forces said that the jihadis used bad weather as a cover on early Monday to advance into areas just north of the mountains. Yazidi leaders have now released a desperate plea to the US, asking for aerial to help protection to help stave off the attacks, the Washington Post reports.
A Yazidi fighter told the Washington Post: “We have so little ammunition, and they are advancing. I can see five Humvees without using binoculars. We need planes!” Another fighter said, “It’s very hard, and we are worried about how long we can hold. But we can’t retreat. We need to protect the families on the mountain.”
In August, President Obama authorized airstrikes near Mt. Sinjar in hopes to save the Yazidis from what would be sure slaughter should the Islamic State successfully reach the thousands stranded there. What remains unclear is why the US-led campaign has been seemingly ineffective in removing the Islamic State’s presence from Mt. Sinjar.
Another Yazidi fighter vented his frustration: “We called for help with airstrikes, but nothing,” Yazidi former member of parliament Mohammed Khalil told the Washington Post. “Now we are all trapped — the fighters are trapped, the civilians are trapped.”
“If Daesh (Islamic State) reaches them, they will kill them all,” said Vian Dakhil, another Iraqi parliament member who is Yazidi.
A third Yazidi MP said: “If the situation doesn’t change, we’ll see an event worse than August.”