Yazidis Remain In Fear On Iraq's Mount Sinjar After Attempted Genocide

When ISIS invaded their villages in northern Iraq in 2014, tens of thousands of Yazidis fled for safety. Now their community leader says over 4,000 remain up on a mountain.
Saeed Ahmed Khalaf, left, and his family live in a tent on Mount Sinjar. He believes the U.S. would either help protect the Yazidis in Sinjar or help the group emigrate to a safe place. Source: Jane Arraf

Navine, 15, could pass for a typical teenager. Her delicate face is framed by dark brown hair pulled back with carefully curled tendrils in front. She wears sweatpants and a slouchy striped sweater.

Then she pulls up the sleeve to reveal a tattoo — a crude letter N. Her mother had Navine and her brother tattooed with ashes and a nail when they were being held by ISIS.

"We all made them when we were first kidnapped," says her mother Halo, sitting near a kerosene heater in their tent on Iraq's Mount Sinjar. That way, if they were separated, mothers believed they might be able to find their children later.

In 2014, tens of thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority, facing genocide from ISIS, escaped to the mountain from the town of Sinjar and surrounding villages in northern Iraq.

The United States said it entered the war against ISIS partly to protect Yazidis

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