I spoke to one Yazidi woman, living largely in one back room with her 60-year-old mother, two sisters and one brother eking out dwindling supplies of bread, rice and water while keeping lights turned off to avoid attention.
Her hushed voice quivering, she told me of hearing frequent gunshots and seeing Islamic State vehicles patrolling the streets outside. We cannot fight them and if we leave the house we will be killed or kidnapped.
“It was a real firefight – a no kidding old school firefight,” a senior defense official said.
Ancient Assyrian texts and other priceless artifacts were recovered as well as what the defense official called a “treasure trove” of intelligence materials, such as cell phones, laptops and documents.
‘But we have lots of women here and many children, along with all the old men and women of the village. ’This is thought to be the first time these blood-drenched fanatics – who delight in boasting of their barbarism and posting sickening murder videos on social media – have threatened to wipe out an entire village.
He has received multiple threats from both officials and his friends because of who he is and the work he does.Most of the several hundred thousand members of the minority live in northern Iraq, mainly around Sinjar, a large town which anti-IS forces have now retaken but was extensively destroyed.- Sisters held in Syria -IS jihadists captured Yazidi women and turned them into sex slaves to be sold and exchanged across their self-proclaimed "caliphate".Around 3,000 of them are believed to remain in captivity.When the terrified residents looked out of their windows, they saw that Kosho, their traditional walled village in the mountains of northern Iraq, had been surrounded by jihadists.More than 200 bearded militants had besieged the village.‘He told us that either we become Muslims or they would kill us all,’ said Falah, mayor of the village made up mainly of members of the ancient Yazidi sect.‘We are just sitting and trying not to move too much,’ she said. Afterwards, her despairing cousin, an engineer in his mid-twenties, told me in flawless English that their family felt helpless but could not mount an escape bid.One terrified woman in her sixties jumped off the third-storey roof of her home, preferring suicide to seizure."It's incredibly difficult being away from my family - I’ve been missing birthdays, everything - and the more work I do for Ira Queer, and the more people know about it, the harder it's getting for me to be able to return to Iraq," Amir says.Politicians and other influential personalities see us as a threat, and no longer see us just as a young group that is publishing information on a website," he explains."People would make everything relevant and try to connect it to my sexuality and of course use it as an insult.A lot of people stopped hanging out with me because they were afraid of the stigma that came with hanging out with me." Although he says he could ignore most of it because he had a good circle of friends, being gay affected his everyday life.