Photo: Hamit Huseyin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
These Are the People Who Obama Is Trying to Save in Iraq
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These Are the People Who Obama Is Trying to Save in Iraq Kurds are fleeing as Islamic State militants close in

By and Photo: Hamit Huseyin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

American warplanes bombed Islamic State militants near the Kurdish capital, Erbil, in northern Iraq on Friday, less than a day after dropping food and water on Mount Sinjar, where tens of thousands of Yazidis were trapped by the militants. As Lawrence F. Kaplan wrote in The New Republic yesterday:

The Yazidi, a tiny sect probably as old as the biblical province its members call home, have nearly been wiped out on dozens of occasions, by dozens of persecutors, and yet they survive. During the Iraq War, they turned to the Americans for protection, and the Americans turned to them for all manner of support. (The Yazidi supplied a disproportionate number of interpreters to the U.S. Army.) For this, the insurgents slaughtered the Yazidi, killing 500 on a single day in 2007. Whenever I would visit their ancestral home in the town of Sinjar, they would plead for stepped-up assistance from Washington.

Here are images of the Yazidi fleeing Sinjar earlier this week.

Hamit Huseyin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
 
Hamit Huseyin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
 
Hamit Huseyin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
 
Hamit Huseyin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
 
Hamit Huseyin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
 
Omar Alkalouti/Pacific Press/Sipa USA
Iraqis from Mosul and surrounding areas at the first checkpoint of the Kurdish security forces as they seek safety in Erbil or a transitional camp.
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