8 Aug 2014

Islamic State fighters kidnap 500 women – reports

As the US announces it has launched two more airstrikes on Islamic State forces on Friday, there are reports that the religious extremists in Iraq have taken 500 women captive.

Channel 4 News spoke to a Yazidi refugee, Barakat al-Issa, who is trapped in the Sinjar mountains: “the situation is very tragic, more than 100 thousand people are trapped in the mountains here, in need of water and food.”

The Americans and Turkish have carried out air drops of aid, but the effort was not sufficient said Mr al-Issa: “They are saying that planes are dropping aid, but this aid is only getting to some five per cent of the people who are trapped here, because of the mountainous terrain.”

“People are waiting here for international forces to intervene, in the hope that this will become a safe haven for aid to be delivered.”

“Most of the people here are civilians and they hope a peacekeeping force will come from Iraq or Nato.”

He accused the Islamic State militants of kidnapping at least 500 Yazidi women, whose fate remains unknown, and said that dozens of families had been murdered in the south of the Sinjar mountains as they tried to flee. He also repeated allegations that militants had been seen executing women and children.

The US military conducted two additional air strikes against Islamic State forces near the city of Arbil in northern Iraq on Friday, the Pentagon said in a statement.

The air strikes, which follow the dropping of two 500-pound bombs on Islamic State positions earlier Friday, included a drone strike on a mortar position and an attack by four F/A-18 jets on an Islamic State convoy and mortar position, the Pentagon said.