Iraq

Yazidis Escaping the Wrath of ISIS (Photos)

Thousands of members of the ethnic Iraqi minority have fled to Syria and Turkey as the threat of Islamic State militants grew close. A look at the flight of the ancient sect.

Rodi Said/Reuters

Displaced Yazidis, fleeing violence by jihadist forces loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, walk toward the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Mount Sinjar. Militants have killed at least 500 members of the Iraqi ethnic minority during their offensive in the north, according to the country's human-rights minister.

Here, a look at a few of the tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians who have had to run for their lives during ISIS's push to within a 30-minute drive of the Kurdish regional capital Erbil.

Youssef Boudlal/Reuters

Yazidis from the Iraqi town of Sinjar travel in a vehicle as they re-enter Iraq from Syria at a border crossing in Fishkhabour, Dohuk province, on Thursday.

Rodi Said/Reuters

Displaced people ride on a truck as they are evacuated from Mount Sinjar with the help of members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (known as the YPG), as they make their way toward Newroz refugee camp in Syria's al-Hasakah province on Wednesday.

Rodi Said/Reuters

Displaced Yazidis settle in abandoned houses as they take shelter in Mount Sinja on Wednesday. A U.S. mission to evacuate Iraqi civilians trapped on the mountain by Sunni militant fighters is far less likely after a U.S. assessment team found the humanitarian situation not as grave as expected, the Pentagon said.

Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty

Iraqi Yazidi women sit at a school where they are taking shelter in the Kurdish city of Dohuk in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region. The Yazidis are a small community that follows a 4,000-year-old faith and have been repeatedly targeted by jihadists who call them "devil-worshipers" because of their unique beliefs and practices.

Youssef Boudlal/Reuters

Displaced people re-enter Iraq from Syria at the border crossing in Fishkhabour.

Emrah Yorulmaz/Anadolu Agency, via Getty

Thousands of Yazidis were trapped in the mountains as they tried to escape from Islamic State militants, but were rescued by Kurdish Peshmerga forces and People’s Protection Unit personnel in Mosul last Saturday.

Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty

Iraqi Yazidi refugees gather in a tent at Newroz camp in northeastern Syria on Thursday, after fleeing Islamic State militants. The number of Iraqi civilians arriving in camps on both sides of the Syrian border after being besieged for days by jihadist fighters has declined sharply, a UN spokesman said.

Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty

Yazidi refugees gather to receive food at the Newroz camp. Nearly 1,000 Iraqi families have taken refuge in the Syrian province of Hasaka despite the raging civil war there that has ravaged the country since March 2011 and killed more than 170,000 people.

Youssef Boudlal/Reuters

Displaced Yazidis rest in the shade amid garbage at the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Fishkhabour on Wednesday.

Youssef Boudlal/Reuters

Yazidi refugees hold banners as they take part in a demonstration at the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in Fishkhabour on Wednesday. Demonstrators demanded protection and evacuation from Iraq to safer areas, such as Europe and the United States.

Kadir Baris/Reuters

A displaced woman looks out from an abandoned house where she is taking refuge in the southeastern Turkish town of Silopi, on Wednesday. Thousands of Iraqis, most of them ethnic minority Yazidis, have fled to the Turkish border to escape.