Middle East

Iraq crisis: Refugee journeys from Mount Sinjar

Pictures from a BBC reporting trip from northern Iraq into Syria, as Iraqi refugees fled Mount Sinjar after days of fighting.

After struggling to survive in the Sinjar mountains for five days without water and food, these refugees were taken by Kurdish fighters to Newroz camp in Derik city, in an area of north-eastern Syria under Kurdish control.

"Hundreds of people were killed and beheaded by IS fighters and hundreds of women have been taken by them. We are dying - the Yazidi minority has seen genocide," said 65-year-old refugee Khidier Shamo.

Two sisters and their families were found by Kurdish forces in the mountains, two hours before this photo was taken. One sister had jumped from a truck because she was thirsty and desperate for water, spraining her ankle.

One sister said: "All of my family walked 12km in the mountains, my children are dehydrated and got diarrhoea. We lost a lot of relatives." Meanwhile, Farman Jendi (right), a 65-year-old refugee, said it was "a religious war; it's not a political or an economic war".

"We will never convert to Islam as IS want, we prefer to die," said 18-year-old Amina Kalo from Sinjar.

Refugees travelled from the Sinjar mountain via a safe corridor, by truck. Only large trucks can cross the bumpy roads leaving the mountains.

Photographs by Jewan Abdi (Twitter: @abdijewan)

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