Life in the Shingal Mountains, where tens of thousands of Yezidis are fighting for survival. Photo: Rudaw
SHINGAL MOUNTAIN, Kurdistan Region – Tens of thousands of Kurdish Yezidis who have been dying in their dozens of starvation and thirst on an arid mountain appealed to the outside world to open a corridor to escape Islamic State (IS/ISIS) militants, as three more died Thursday.
Rudaw correspondent Barakat Issa who is stuck in the mountains reported that some 50,000 Yezidis, cowering on the mountain since the militants captured the town of Shingal on Saturday, have run out of food and water, with some resorting to eating leaves off of the trees in a desperate effort to live.
The reporter has seen bodies scattered on the Shingal Mountains, reporting that more than 70 have died, many of them children and the elderly.
Those on the mountain said they had received no assistance, denying reports they had been supplied with food and water by air.
The Yezidis, who have been especially targeted by IS because of their religion, are calling for a humanitarian corridor between the town of Senoon in northern Mosul and the Syrian border to reach safety.
Diseases are breaking out among the displaced Yezidis, and people with long-term illnesses are also at grave risk, the correspondent reported.
”People walk the length of the mountain with no food and water and some have resorted to eating leaves off he trees,” Issa said.
As their situation becomes more desperate some people have said they would rather come down the mountains than face certain death.
Some who have guns said they had tried to walk down to reach Senoon for water but were forced back after being fired on by the militants.
The United Nations and European Union have both expressed concern about the situation in Shingal and other parts of Nineveh province, with the UN calling it a “humanitarian disaster.”
Nearly 200 thousand Yezidis, an ancient people with their own religious beliefs, are regarded as infidels by the militants.
In Shingal, where the militants are fighting heavy Peshmerga fire, there are reports of executions and Yezidi women being taken as war booty.
With no Iraqi forces left to protect Christian and Yezidi minorities in northern Iraq the Kurdish forces remain their only hope.