Yezidi families reaching Kurdistan Region.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – An Iraqi army helicopter crashed on a mission to Mount Shingal where thousands of Kurdish Yezidis have been trapped, killing the pilot and wounding 20 on board, including an MP.
"Today a plane delivering aid to the refugees in Shingal Mountain lost stability and crashed," a source told Rudaw.
The 20 on board who were wounded included Vian Dakhil, a Kurdish-Yezidi MP in the Iraqi parliament and Yadgar Mirani, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the source said.
The injured were flown to Zakho hospitals.
The Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter belonged to the Iraqi army and crashed due to “a technical fault,” according to military spokesman General Qassim Atta.
Thousands of Yezidis have been trapped on Mount Shingal for more than a week, after fleeing from Islamic State (IS) militants who captured the town of Shingal, reportedly killing and kidnapping hundreds of Yezidis.
Vian Dakhil made an emotional plea last week in the Iraqi parliament about the Yezidis being slaughtered, demanding Iraqi government and the international community to save the Yezidis form extermination.
That plea was heard by US President Barack Obama, who authorized American airstrikes against IS positions on Thursday.
“Earlier this week, one Iraqi in the area cried to the world, 'There is no one coming to help,’” Obama said in a speech Thursday, quoting Dakhil. “Well, today America is coming to help,” he said.