Yazidi refugees who made it safely off Mount Sinjar in Iraq to Syria have returned, crossing the Tigris back into Iraq as their long road towards safety in Kurdistan continues.
Airdrops from US and British planes provided vital relief after Kurdish pershmurga fighters had been able to spirit them safety but little else. Despite their escape the religious minority’s plight remains extreme.
The ISIL religious fanatics that forced them from their homes are proving to be be tough opposition for the peshmurga and even Kurdistan may not be safe, or able to cope with the sudden influx of tens of thousands of refugees.
“I put two of my sons on one car that came to get us, then I went to grab this one and went back to the car, but it had left already. That’s why I had to walk halfway here alone. Another car picked me up on the road and we finally arrived here. I have three children, this one is with me but I have lost the others. I haven’t seen the other children and my husband since then,” said one woman.
The self-declared Western Kurdistan authorities in Syria have set up a refugee camp in the city of Derik where some aid is getting through.