With U.S. airstrikes keeping ISIS at bay and the help of Kurdish Peshmerga forces, thousands of Yazidis have been able to evacuate Iraq’s Sinjar Mountains, making a U.S.-assisted evacuation mission “far less likely,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
James Jeffrey, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told CNN’s “New Day” that while the operation is a success so far for Obama, it is a mistake to declare victory too early.
The United Nations on Wednesday announced its highest level of emergency for a humanitarian crisis, saying the number of people on the run from ISIS is of grave concern.
It estimates that more than 400,000 people have been driven from their homes since June, when ISIS swept across the border from Syria into Iraq. Of those displaced, more than 200,000 have poured into Dohuk province in recent weeks, where refugee camp populations have swelled since ISIS began its assault against Yazidis, Christians and Kurds.
Thousands of other refugees sought protection inside the northern Kurdish region of Iraq.
“To be blunt, we don’t have housing for all of them. We don’t have shelter,” a spokesman for the U.N. human rights commissioner, Edward Colt, told CNN at a camp near the Peshkhabour bridge where Iraqis are entering the area. “Thousands of tents are being erected as we speak.”