600 Arabs flee from IS to Kurdistan Region

More than 600 Sunni Arabs escaped from the Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq to the Peshmerga frontline in Makhmour town, said a Kurdistan24 reporter on Saturday.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – More than 600 Sunni Arabs escaped from the Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq to the Peshmerga frontline in Makhmour, said a Kurdistan24 reporter on Saturday.

Following the beginning of military operations in Mosul by the Iraqi army and trained Sunni militants known as Hashd al-Watani, people in IS-held areas close to Makhmour started to leave and move to the Kurdistan Region.

Kurdistan24 reporter Hemin Hussein stated that due to the Iraqi army’s clashes with IS extremists, 600 Arab people from Khira Berdan, Kwdila and Qaraj areas left their homes and moved to Peshmerga-controlled territories in Makhmour.

“400 of them are women and children,” Hussein said.

Bushra Ali is a 14-year-old girl who escaped from IS. “Da’esh tortured us a lot!” she told Kurdistan24 with eyes full of tears, using the Arabic pejorative term for IS.

Along with Ali, other women explained their stories and said that living under IS authority is very challenging. “There are no schools and medical treatments. They have no sense of emotion, and they were treating us very badly,” said another woman discussing living conditions in IS-held towns.

Moreover, Peshmerga forces have provided humanitarian assistance to the survivors while continuing to fight the extremists.

The Kurdistan Region is currently home to almost two million refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The large number of people seeking protection in the Region has created a substantial load on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the people of Kurdistan.

Kurdish officials continuously call on the international community to provide humanitarian aid to the KRG while the Region is suffering from a critical financial crisis.

 

Reporting by Mewan Dolamari
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany