Over 200,000 refugees resort to Duhok
Duhok Governor: The city is unable to provide assistance to the refugees alone
After ISIS and associated armed groups took control of Sinjar, a small town inhabited by the Yezidi sect, last week, over 200,000 civilians were stuck in dreadful circumstances.
Hundreds of civilians from Sinjar and its environs are missing, feared dead or abducted, while tens of thousands are trapped without basic necessities or vital supplies in the Sinjar Mountain area south of the city.
Many others were able to get out from Sinjar and finally reached Duhok city. Those who are based in Duhok are believed to have reached 14,000 people.
“We are in continuous discussion with the Kurdish Government in order to find appropriate mechanisms for bettering the condition of the refugees who reached Duhok,” said Farhad Atrushi, Duhok Gov- ernor.
According to Atrushi, three big camps are under construction and several special bakeries have already been prepared to make bread for the refugees. In addition to that, four companies have shown their readiness to provide the refugees with drinking water.
“Over 14,000 refugees from Sinjar have come to Duhok. The city has already embraced great number of refugees from Mosul and Christians from other areas. So because of the increasing number of the refugees in the city, we might not be able to provide enough assistance to them alone. This process needs to be achieved in cooperation with the government and all the other related authorities. The total number of refugees based in Duhok now is 800,000 people,” said Atrushi.
Despite the assistances form the United Nations and other NGOs, several committees have been formed to collect donations and humanitarian aids from the other cities and areas of Kurdistan.
Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani vowed not to leave a Kurdish span of land to the militants and to protect Mount Sinjar near the Syrian border, as well as the Yazidi people taking shelter there.
The ISIS is reported to have committed all kinds of atrocities against the civilians: abuse, kidnapping, torture and executions of Iraq’s religious and ethnic minorities. Moreover, it has systematically destroyed many religious and cultural sites as well.
Kurdish fighters launched a counterattack on Tuesday hoping to regain Zumar and Sinjar from ISIS’s control.
Yazidis belong to an ethno-religious group which predates Islam and has roots in Zoroastrianism, a monotheistic religion that developed in ancient Persia around 1,500 BC. Yazidis have been described as a “Kurdish heterodox group,» meaning that they>re ethnic Kurds, but outside the mainstream of the religious beliefs of the Kurdish society.