Aug 13 2014
IRAQ: To keep their children from dying of thirst, Yazidis on the mountain are cutting their hands to give their children blood to drink
Horrific stories of 30,000 Yazidis trapped by Islamic State jihadists emerge after 8,000 escape down the mountain. Children trapped on a mountain by Islamic State militants in Iraq are drinking blood from their parents to stay alive, it emerged today.
UK Daily Mail Their horrendous plight was revealed after some 8,000 Yazidis were finally able to escape down Mount Sinjar where they have been under siege from jihadist fighters for the last week. Those fleeing have made it to relative safety at a camp in Dohuk Province in Kurdistan, where they have told horrific stories of the 30,000 who have been left behind.
Sky News correspondent Sherine Tadros, who is at the camp, said: ‘One man has just told us how he saw four children die of thirst. ‘There was nowhere to bury them on the mountain so they just put rocks on their bodies. ‘Another man was saying the children were so thirsty, their parents started cutting their own hands and giving them blood to drink.’
Hundreds of other families have also made it across the border after trekking for hundreds of kilometres through sweltering temperatures to safety. They are being given food, water and medical treatment at shelters in Turkey and Syria after being driven out of their town by ISIS more than a week ago.
Some have been forced to pay smugglers their life savings to take them on perilous journeys across the border into Turkey, sometimes through minefields. They are among several gruelling treks to freedom the community has taken after they were sent scattering to the four corners by the insurgency, which has trapped around 30,000 others on Sinjar Mountain with no food or water.
Around 2,000 Yazidis have made it to a refugee camp in Derabon, a small village near Zakho on the Iraqi Kurdistan-Turkey border. But with no passports, many are having to sit tight and hope the uprising is crushed or pay smugglers to help them avoid the official border crossing at Habur.
One mother who suffers agonising rheumatism told how she and her three young children waded through the Tigris River, tip-toed her way through a minefield and climbed through a barbed-wire fence to make it into Turkey. Half-way through the five-hour journey, Amal said the smuggler wanted her children to leave her behind because she was too slow, but they chose to carry her instead.
The 43-year-old told The Times: ‘My sons gathered around me and they refused. We were not afraid of dying there. We were afraid of dying at the hands of the Islamic State.’
Another teenager has not been so lucky.Amer Omar Pajo said he watched his father get shot in the head by ISIS gunmen as they fled to the mountains and his mother later succumbed to dehydration.
Obama now considering a rescue mission for the Yazidis, but still won’t commit ground troops.