Despite Barack Obama’s claim on Thursday that U.S. airstrikes have broken the siege by Islamic State extremists against the Yazidis and other religious minorities trapped on a mountain in northern Iraq, the slaughter continues.
Here’s the president’s announcement:
“The situation on the mountain has greatly improved. We broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar. We helped vulnerable people reach safety.”
As reported by Rudaw, Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL) fighters entered the village of Kucho on Saturday, killing 80 or more men and taking hundreds of women and children hostage. The Islamists had given the village a Friday deadline to convert to Islam or be killed:
Via The Washington Post:
The men were rounded up and executed, while the women were taken to an undisclosed location, according to Ziad Sinjar, a pesh merga commander based on the edge of Mount Sinjar, citing the accounts of villagers nearby.
Six men were injured but survived, and managed to escape to a nearby village where they are being sheltered by sympathetic local Sunni Iraqis, he said. One of them told him that 84 Yazidi men were lined up and shot and that more than 300 women were taken away.
Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq’s former foreign minister, offered this assessment:
“The villagers had received local assurances that they were safe. Maybe they killed them in revenge for the setbacks they have suffered from the air strikes.”
Analysts, including a senior Pentagon official, contend that limited strikes against ISIL will have little effect overall. Army Lt Gen William Mayville:
“What I expect ISIL to do is to look for other things to do, to pick up and move elsewhere. So I in no way want to suggest that we have effectively contained or that we are somehow breaking the momentum of the threat posed by ISIL.”
“Look for other things to do” is exactly what these brutal animals did Saturday. Given that Obama has reauthorized U.S. military action in Iraq, what now?