There are still about 9,000 families from the Yazidi minority community displaced in and around Iraq’s Sinjar district without fuel, food, clothes, and electricity amid a ferocious winter, Rudaw has learned.
Sinjar, also known as Shingal, is located in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh. The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) decimated the Yazidi-majority district when it captured large swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014.
President Barack Obama cited “barbaric” acts carried out by ISIS against the Yazidis trapped on Sinjar Mountain when justifying the start of the U.S.-led war against the jihadist group in Iraq back in August 2014.
More than two years later, the Yazidis are still suffering.
Months after Sinjar was deemed “liberated” in November 2015, some Yazidis told Breitbart News the following April that the city had been rendered unlivable by the damage to infrastructure from the battles that occurred there.
Now, citing Sinjar’s Mayor Mahma Khalil, Rudaw reports, “Heavy snowfall has endangered the lives of hundreds of Yezidi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) on Mount Shingal.”
The mayor has been urging the Iraqi government and international aid groups to help the suffering Yazidis.
“Nearly 50 centimeters of snow has fallen on Mount Shingal, endangering the lives of the refugees there,” revealed Khalil, noting that approximately “9,000 families have been suffering the bad winter weather in Shingal and its surroundings.”
The Sinjar mayor reportedly noted that Yazidis in and around Sinjar “need fuel, food, clothes and electricity.”
“At least 3,000 families live under tents and 5,040 families in the complexes suffering lack of electricity,” he explained.
The barrel of oil that Baghdad’s migration minister provided each Yazidi family has proven insufficient to combat the cold winter weather, Khalil said.
ISIS jihadists managed to displace the entire Yazidi population when they seized Sinjar in August 2014, killing and taking captive many of them.
In October, human rights watchdog group Amnesty International reported that the global community has abandoned and forgotten many of the Yazidi survivors, particularly women and girls who escaped imprisonment and rape by ISIS.
However, some Yazidi leaders, including Sinjar Mayork Khalil and Yazid Prince Tahseen Saeed Ali, have expressed optimism that President-elect Donald Trump may turn their predicament around.