Majority of Yazidis safely escape Mount Sinjar
Kurdish forces helped escort thousands of Yazidis to safety. (AFP/File)
The majority of Yazidis trapped atop Mount Sinjar have safely escaped, Associated Press (AP) reports. According to reports from U.S. military personnel, only several thousand remain and they appear to be in relatively good condition, making a U.S. –led rescue mission highly unlikely.
“As a result of that assessment, I think it’s most likely far less likely now that we would undertake any kind of specific humanitarian rescue mission that we have been planning. That doesn’t mean that we won’t,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
The U.S. and Great Britain have air dropped humanitarian aid to Yazidis in the past week, while the U.S. has carried out air strikes against militants in the Islamic State. The air strikes have allowed thousands of Yazidis to escape with the help of Kurdish fighters.
“The Yazidis who remain are in better condition than previously believed and continue to have access to the food and water that we have dropped. Based on this assessment, the interagency has determined that an evacuation mission is far less likely. Additionally, we will continue to provide humanitarian assistance as needed and will protect U.S. personnel and facilities,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Wednesday.
According to AP, U.S. cargo planes airdropped 108 bundles of food and water to the remaining people on the mountaintop.