With at least a shrot lull in Gaza the world is now faced with what really does look like a potential genocide in the cauldron of Iraq.
Tens of thousands of members of one of Iraq's oldest minorities have been stranded on a mountain in the country's north-west, facing slaughter at the hands of jihadists surrounding them below if they flee or death by dehydration if they stay.These people are ethnically linked to the Kurds who have been a third wheel in Iraq along with the Sunnis and Shias. I remember at the end of the first Gulf War Saddam Hussein's army drove the Kurds into the mountains. The TV news showed large numbers of them stranded on barren peaks like mountain goats. This sounds something like that.
UN groups say at least 40,000 members of the Yazidi sect, many of them women and children, have taken refuge in nine locations on Mount Sinjar, a craggy mile-high ridge identified in local legend as the final resting place of Noah's ark.
At least 130,000 more people, many from the Yazidi stronghold of Sinjar, have fled to Dohuk, in the Kurdish north, or to Irbil, where regional authorities have been struggling since June to deal with one of the biggest and most rapid refugee movements in decades.
Sinjar itself has been all but emptied of its 300,000 residents since jihadists stormed the city late on Saturday, but an estimated 25,000 people remain. "We are being told to convert or to lose our heads," said Khuldoon Atyas, who has stayed behind to guard his family's crops. "There is no one coming to help."
Another man, who is hiding in the mountains and identified himself as Nafi'ee, said: "Food is low, ammunition is low and so is water. We have one piece of bread to share between 10 people. We have to walk 2km to get water. There were some air strikes yesterday [against the jihadists], but they have made no difference."
The entire Middle East seems to be turning into a pit of barbaric carnage.
There is a story just out of the Kurds from neighboring countries joining forces to oppose ISIS.
Northern Iraqi Kurdish forces say they are being joined by Kurdish separatists from Turkey and Syria to confront jihadists holding Mosul. To its northwest, thousands of refugees remain trapped in hills, short of food.