France24 reports: The capture of the Iraqi town of Sinjar by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS or ISIL) has displaced up to 200,000 people and created a “humanitarian tragedy”, the UN said on Sunday.
“A humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in Sinjar,” the top UN envoy in Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, said in a statement after ISIS militants had captured the northern town, which lies near the Syrian border. Thousands of previously displaced families had fled to Sinjar to seek safety.
“The United Nations has grave concerns for the physical safety of these civilians,” the statement said.
It said it was particularly concerned by the fate of civilians who fled into the Jabal Sinjar mountains and could be trapped inside an area completely surrounded by the militants.
“The humanitarian situation of these civilians is reported as dire, and they are in urgent need of basic items including food, water and medicine,” the statement said.
Sinjar had been controlled by Kurdish troops but they withdrew on Sunday, the second consecutive day of losses for the peshmerga fighters, who also lost the town of Zumar and two nearby oilfields to ISIS jihadists on Saturday. [Continue reading…]