17 Stories

'They Did Bad Things:' ISIS Releases 200 Yazidis

Mostly elderly, in poor health, showing signs of abuse

(Newser) - The Islamic State group released about 200 Yazidis held for five months in Iraq, mostly elderly, infirm captives who likely slowed the extremists down, Kurdish military officials said today. Almost all of the freed prisoners are in poor health and bore signs of abuse and neglect. Three were young children.... More »

This Is the Woman Most Wanted by ISIS

Iraqi lawmaker Vian Dakhil is fighting to save her Yazidi sect

(Newser) - Vian Dakhil is a 43-year-old member of Iraqi's parliament who also happens to be at the top of the Islamic State's death list, writes Abigail Haworth in a profile for Marie Claire . Dakhil is one of only two representatives in parliament of the Yazidi sect, one that ISIS... More »

ISIS Captives 'Shattered' by Rape, Slavery, Torture

Yazidi women face 'harrowing' sexual violence: Amnesty International

(Newser) - Hundreds, perhaps thousands of Yazidi women captured by ISIS have been subjected to horrifyingly brutal and degrading treatment from their captors, according to a hard-hitting new Amnesty International report. The victims "have had their lives shattered by the horrors of sexual violence and sexual slavery," says an Amnesty... More »

Kurds Break ISIS Mountain Siege

Yazidis still on Sinjar can now flee

(Newser) - Iraqi Kurdish forces battling ISIS militants managed to open up a key corridor yesterday so that thousands of people from the country's Yazidi minority who have been trapped on a mountain can flee, a senior Kurdish official says. The development was an incremental step in the battle to retake... More »

Yazidi Girl Given as Gift to ISIS Recounts Escape

'Narin' tells Post journalist: 'I still have nightmares'

(Newser) - A 14-year-old Yazidi girl, captured and given as a gift to ISIS members, recounted her tale of escape to journalist Mohammed A. Salih in the Washington Post . The girl Salih calls "Narin" and her family were among the thousands of Yazidis who fled ISIS fighters to Mount Sinjar in... More »

ISIS Sells Women Into Marriage for $1K Each: Report

The Islamic State considers Yazidi women 'spoils of war': report

(Newser) - The Islamic State has "distributed" about 300 Yazidi women to its jihadist fighters as spoils of war, CNN reports. The Islamic State, or ISIS, kidnapped the women when it attacked Yazidi villages and forced tens of thousands to flee earlier this month, according to a British group monitoring the... More »

Pope Backs Action in Iraq, Wants UN OK

Pontiff says Islamic State militants must be stopped

(Newser) - Pope Francis, the guy probably least likely on the planet to come out in favor of military action, today did precisely that, telling reporters aboard his plane that he had no problem with the use of force to stop Islamic State militants in Iraq from slaughtering the Yazidi minority. "... More »

'At Least I'm Alive': Inside a Deadly Iraq 'Copter Crash

Helicopter went down trying to save Yazidis

(Newser) - A crashing helicopter full of Yazidi refugees goes down too quickly to describe—so Alissa Rubin, a veteran New York Times reporter, writes more about the others on board during the crash this week . Yazidi member of Parliament Vian Dakhil, who had given a "heart-rending" speech advocating the rescue... More »

Militants Massacre 80 Yazidi Villagers

Women, children are abducted by Islamic State

(Newser) - The Yazidis who managed to escape to the mountains seem to be protected from Islamic State militants, but those who stayed in their villages clearly are not. Reports from the village of Kocho in northern Iraq say that extremists executed about 80 Yazidi men yesterday and took away about 300... More »

US: Airstrikes Worked, Iraqi Rescue Not Needed

Military advisers find 'far fewer' Yazidis on mountain than expected

(Newser) - It looks like the US won't have to launch a mass evacuation of Iraqis trapped on a mountain after all. A small team of American military personnel who spent 24 hours on Mount Sinjar said US airstrikes seem to have done the trick—most of the trapped Yazidis who... More »

US Sends More Troops to Iraq

Maliki in talks to step down as France sends weapons to Kurds

(Newser) - Another 130 Marines and special operations forces have been sent to Iraq to help rescue tens of thousands of Yazidi refugees still trapped on a mountain, but this "is not a combat boots on the ground kind of operation," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says. Speaking at California's... More »

Iraq's Newest Mess: A Possible 'Coup'

Prime Minister Maliki wants a third term, but president is balking

(Newser) - Tense times in Baghdad: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki deployed troops at strategic locations in the Iraqi capital amid a power struggle with newly elected President Fouad Massoum. Maliki accuses Massoum of carrying out "a coup against the constitution and the political process" by failing to nominate him for a... More »

20K Trapped Iraqis Rescued From Mountain

Yazidis aided by Kurdish rebels

(Newser) - Today brought word from officials that militants in Iraq killed some 500 members of the Yazidi minority community, but much better news is also emerging: With tens of thousands of Yazidis trapped on a mountain by militants, about 20,000 of them have managed to flee within the past 24... More »

Iraq: Militants Killed 500 Yazidis, Buried Some Alive

Some were women, children in mass graves: human rights minister

(Newser) - The Islamic State's assault on the Yazidi minority community is every bit as horrific as might be expected, with Iraq's human rights minister telling Reuters today that the militant group has killed at least 500 Yazidis—and buried some of those alive. " We have striking evidence obtained... More »

The Next Target of ISIS: Western Nations?

CNN looks at possible ways the extremist group might attack

(Newser) - In the wake of two US airstrikes against ISIS, supporters of the extremist group that's been seizing towns in northern Iraq are calling for retaliatory strikes against America, CNN reports. "It is a clear message that the war is against Islam and the mujahideen," wrote the administrator... More »

Obama Authorizes Airstrikes in Iraq

US also begins humanitarian aid drops to trapped Iraqis

(Newser) - President Obama said tonight he has authorized the US military to carry out airstrikes in Iraq against Islamic militants if necessary to protect American personnel in northern Iraq. He emphasized, however, that no ground troops would be sent back to Iraq. Obama also said the US has begun humanitarian aid... More »

Iraqi Civilian Deaths Spike in August

Almost half the 1,809 casualties killed in a single day

(Newser) - August was the second deadliest month for Iraqi civilians since the US troop surge began, the AP reports, with almost half the deaths occurring on just one disastrous day. At least 1,809 Iraqis were killed last month, compared to 2,100 in December, just before the surge began. On... More »

17 Stories


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