The Islamic State, the terrorist army also known as ISIS, have made substantial gains in Northern Iraq in recent days. ISIS forces have overrun Kurdish troops forcing 200,000 residents to flee into the nearby mountains or face genocide.
Islamic State jihadists who took over large areas of northern Iraq overnight have forced thousands of Christians to flee and occupied churches, removing crosses and destroying manuscripts, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako has said.
“(The Christians) have fled with nothing but their clothes, some of them on foot, to reach the Kurdistan region,” Patriarch Sako told AFP.
The United Nations put the number of people who have fled as high as 200,000, and said that many thousands of people trapped by the militants on Sinjar mountain had been rescued in the past 24 hours.
“We’re just receiving the information right now. We’ve just heard that people over the last 24 hours have been extracted and the UN is mobilising resources to ensure that these people are assisted on arrival,” David Swanson, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told Reuters.It is a “tragedy of immense proportions”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration seems to be weighing options to help the Kurdish regions and the displaced refugees with humanitarian and possibly military assistance.
The United States is considering air strikes in Iraq in response to a militant surge in northern areas that has left minority groups trapped by fighting, a U.S. official told CNN.
The official said the possibility of such military action “has been something” the Obama administration “has been talking about for some time and the latest news just might meet the threshold for action.”
Earlier Thursday, Defense Department officials told reporters that humanitarian food drops were definitely being considered.