Iraq general: 70% of Yazidis on Mount Sinjar are dead

An Iraqi general told a reporter for The Telegraph - the only western reporter who has flown over Mount Sinjar - that 70% of the Yahidis oin the rocky hill will die because of the lack of humanitarian aid.

I was on board an Iraqi Army helicopter, and watched as hundreds of refugees ran towards it to receive one of the few deliveries of aid to make it to the mountain. The helicopter dropped water and food from its open gun bays to them as they waited below. General Ahmed Ithwany, who led the mission, told me: “It is death valley. Up to 70 per cent of them are dead.”

Two American aid flights have also made it to the mountain, where they have dropped off more than 36,000 meals and 7,000 gallons of drinking water to help the refugees, and last night two RAF C-130 transport planes were also on the way.

However, Iraqi officials said that much of the US aid had been “useless” because it was dropped from 15,000ft without parachutes and exploded on impact.

One aid worker had this to say: "We have one or two days left to help these people. After that they will start dying en masse."

And the US has made a grand total of 3 air drops - described as "useless" because we're dropping the pallets without parachutes?

We should be making 3 air drops an hour, not 3 over 3 days.

To be sure, the logistics are daunting. The 40,000 Yazidis are not concentrated  on the very top of the mountain. In fact, Mount Sinjar is more like a rocky hill than a mountain. The crest runs for 35 miles over very tough terrain with refugees spread out over that expanse. Getting them supplies is a daunting task.

It appears that many thousands have already left Mount Sinjar. Some unfortunates have been captured by ISIS and buried alive:

"Some of the victims, including women and children were buried alive in scattered mass graves in and around Sinjar," Mr Sudani said.

The minister's comments could pile pressure on the United States - which has carried out air strikes on Islamic State targets in response to the group's latest push through the north - to provide more extensive support.

"In some of the images we have obtained there are lines of dead Yazidis who have been shot in the head while the Islamic State fighters cheer and wave their weapons over the corpses," said Mr Sudani. "This is a vicious atrocity."

Meanwhile, the US has finally decided to give arms to the Kurds - a request first made more than a month ago, say Kurdish leaders. The Peshmerga is fighting back, having retaken two towns on the outskirts of Irbil. But the capital city is still threatened, as evidenced by the US withdrawing some diplomatic personnel.

It looks very bad for the Yazidis on Mount Sinjar.




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