The Kurds Won’t Let Their Women Soldiers Anywhere Near the Front Line
So the Peshmerga, Iraqi Kurdistan’s army and the main force battling Islamic State militants in northern Iraq, includes female recruits. They’re media darlings—and a welcome contrast to Islamic State’s rigid subjugation of women. The narrative of women soldiers fighting against violently misogynistic religious extremists is an appealing one. Sure... Read more
For Five Terrifying Days, They Hid From Militants
Baqofa village in northern Iraq was once home to around 600 Christians. It lies just two kilometers from Batnaya, which Islamic State militants occupy. The Islamists occupied Baqofa, too—but only briefly. Kurdish Peshmerga troops arrived and found the village all but deserted. They found an elderly Christian couple. The... Read more
Islamists Killed the Adults—Now One Woman Raises 10 Kids Alone
Thirty-year-old Baida Idris, a Kurdish Sunni Muslim from Sinjar was a devoted wife with three daughters and two sons of her own. But when Islamic State militants marched into Sinjar on Aug. 3, her life changed. She lost her husband and much of her extended family. Now she raises... Read more
They Survived Mount Sinjar—Now What?
There are 6,000 refugees from the Yezidi religious group in the Wargehe Delal camp in the Kurdish town of Zakho. Most of them survived the ordeal on Mount Sinjar, where as many as 100,000 Yezidis sought refuge from Islamic State militants in early August. Nechirvan Ramazan, a Zakho businessman,... Read more
Islamists Shot This Yezidi Man and Tried to Bury Him Alive
Kocho village in northern Iraq was home to 1,700 people from the Yezidi religious group. But when Islamic State militants captured Kocho, just 150 residents escaped. Militants killed at least 300 people. Some are missing. The Islamists are holding the rest. Thirty-two-year-old Khalid Murad is one who lived. Barely.... Read more
Islamists Wired This Christian Town With Explosives… And Blew It Up When They Left
The Iraqi Christian town of Talesskef, about 30 kilometers from Mosul, once was home to 6,000 people. Fear of advancing Islamic State fighters drove most of the people out. Militants seized the town. Kurdish Peshmerga forces liberated Talesskef back on Aug. 16. But it was a hollow victory. Retreating... Read more
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