Independence to Kurdish people – a short or a long way?
August 18, 2014
Failure to keep the dam operational risked a catastrophic water leak, risking the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis down river.
The Islamic State retreat marks the second American success this week, after the US military successfully broke a siege the group was conducting against Yazidi religious minorities on Mount Sinjar.
The US conducted seven airstrikes against targets at the base of the mountain, creating corridors for escape, officials describe.
But in a demonstration of their persistence, the Islamist group killed at least 80 Yazidi men and enslaved “hundreds” of women in a small, nearby Yazidi town, according to local officials.
The Islamic State seeks to establish a fundamentalist Sunni “caliphate,” in observance with strict Sharia law, from Tel Aviv to Baghdad. The group has successfully taken control of territories throughout eastern Syria and northern Iraq, including Mosul, and Raqqa in Syria, the group’s self-described “capital” city.
The Kurds, who live in a semi-autonomous region in the north of Iraq and have proven loyal, moderate allies of Washington, have long dreamed of independence from central governments in Baghdad which oppressed the non-Arab ethnic group for decades under former dictator Saddam Hussein.