ISIS rampage creates refugee tide in N Iraq - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

ISIS rampage creates refugee tide in N Iraq

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A baby boy is among refugees the ISIS terrorists have uprooted during their barbaric rampage across huge chunks of Iraq.  (Source: CNN) A baby boy is among refugees the ISIS terrorists have uprooted during their barbaric rampage across huge chunks of Iraq. (Source: CNN)

DOHUK, IRAQ (CNN) - ISIS militants in Iraq have driven out thousands of Christians and Yazidis.

It's part of the ISIS campaign to convert, kill or tax religious minorities in order to establish their so-called caliphate.

In the Kurdistan region Yazidis have fled ISIS terrorist persecution.

As flies crawl over his face in the stifling heat, a baby boy sleeps soundly in his mother's arms.

He was born just over a week ago, not in a hospital, a house or even under a roof, but on top of Mt. Sinjar in northern Iraq.

"I was scared he was going to die," says 25-year old Wadha Khodeda, the child's mother. “I can't believe he's alive."

The family fled ISIS militants and climbed the mountain with thousands of other Yazidis, many thought they would not survive.

"Mothers threw away their babies. They were exhausted,” said Khodeda, a mother of five. “But I couldn't do it. He was in my womb for nine months. I could not give him to the mountain."

They're now in Dohuk living in an abandoned market with 100 other desperate families who have nowhere else to go.

"I was a policeman, now I'm a refugee. My rights are gone; my property is gone. I can't sleep. All I think about is how to get out of this place. But we can't go back - they will kill us,” said Tawfiq Hamo Kalaf, a Yazidi refugee.

This group is just a fraction of the refugees who have flooded Duhok province in Kurdistan, northern Iraq since this war with ISIS began.

In the past few weeks more than a quarter of a million refugees have arrived, living on the streets, in schools, or camps anywhere they can find shelter.

And one man is now responsible for looking after them.

Handing out $300 to each family, the governor admits this is merely a band-aid.

“I can look after them for one week, two but no more. The international community has to do something for these people,” said Farhad Atrushe, the governor of  Duhok.

While UNHCR (U.N.) is on the ground - expanding existing camps - there is strong criticism that aid groups are dragging their feet and failing  the refugees.

To give you an idea of the scale of the disaster there are 65,000 people in one camp and the surrounding area. The governor  says he does not have the resources to deal with this humanitarian crisis and is pleading with the international community to act now.

While some countries such as France and Australia have offered asylum to Iraq's persecuted religious minorities, not everyone is looking to leave. But there is one condition: ISIS - otherwise known as Daesh - must be defeated.

"They are just beasts. The international community has to get rid of Daesh or it's like cancer it will spread and everyone will be affected,” said refugee Sulayman Shaybo.

Until that day, their home is under a bridge, and they feel abandoned by the world.

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