UN warns of ‘humanitarian tragedy’ following fall of Sinjar

Peshmarga forces

Peshmerga forces

KT News:

The UN has urged the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraq central government to cooperate fully to deal with the latest humanitarian crisis, after the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) captured the town of Sinjar, west of Ninawa. “A humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in Sinjar,” the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, said in a statement. “The capture of the town has displaced about 200,000 Yazidis … The United Nations has grave concerns for the physical safety of these civilians”. The UN noted that civilians who fled into the Jabal Sinjar mountains could be trapped inside an area surrounded by the jihadists.

“The humanitarian situation of these civilians is reported as dire, and they are in urgent need of basic items including food, water and medicine,” said Mladenov.

Sinjar fell to ISIS after peshmerga forces withdrew from the town. The jihadists also seized two other towns in the disputed territories, Mosul Dam and two small oilfields, which a North Oil Company official said had a combined capacity of 20,000 barrels per day.

“The peshmerga have withdrawn to mountain areas and are getting reinforcements,” a high-ranking peshmerga source said of the retreat from Sanjar.

However, articles on the pro-PKK ANF website accused the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of “virtually leaving the Yezidi Kurdish inhabitants of the region to the ISIS gangs” and failing to “take sufficient measures to counter the expected assault on Sinjar from ISIS”. ANF reported that pro-Kurd YPG forces had crossed the border from Rojava to engage the jihadists and that a number of wounded peshmergas from south Kurdistan were being treated in Rojava.

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