The Daily Beast reports: In August, the Obama administration intervened to stop what it called a pending genocide of Yazidi minorities in Iraq. Now the U.S. is gone, but the genocide continues.
Thousands of Yazidis remain stranded and starving on Mount Sinjar while thousands more have been sold off into slavery by ISIS, according to Yazidi leaders, several of whom are in Washington to beg for urgent assistance.
When President Obama announced U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq in early August, he said the mission was twofold: to protect U.S. personnel in Erbil and to save the ethnic Yazidis from ISIS, who had fled from their villages, chased by ISIS, and were stranded on the mountain with no food, no supplies, and no protection.
“People are starving. And children are dying of thirst. Meanwhile, ISIL forces below have called for the systematic destruction of the entire Yazidi people, which would constitute genocide,” said Obama. “And when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye. We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide. That’s what we’re doing on that mountain.”
At first, international airstrikes and humanitarian airdrops somewhat alleviated the Yazidi crisis and opened up an escape corridor for many Yazidis to flee. But in October, the United States turned to other parts of the battle, leaving the Yazidis largely to fend for themselves. ISIS has now surrounded Mount Sinjar again, trapping approximately 10,000 Yazidis there. Meanwhile, ISIS forces are taking over Yazidi villages near the mountain one after another, killing the men and selling the women and children into the slave trade. [Continue reading…]