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16-08-2014 | Middle East

Northern Iraq: Civilians fleeing fighting in need of assistance

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the recent fighting in Ninawa Province, including Sinjar and other areas close to the cities of Mosul, Dohuk and Kirkuk in northern Iraq.

Some of them are from religious minorities such as the Yazidis, who sought  refuge in Sinjar Mountain after fleeing their homes. 

But Christians, Shia and Sunni communities, uprooted in the fighting are also flooding into the cities of Dohuk and Khaniq  in the search of shelter. Many have had to camp in schools, public places, and even in half built buildings .  

“We remained eight days on the mountain. We had nothing to eat. We left and they attacked us with bullets” says a young man from Sinjar, whose family is sheltering in an highway underpass. 

The family tried twice to leave and eventually got to the Syrian border before making their way to Dohuk.

Abd-al-Ahad , a local businessman is providing shelter to more than 300 people free of charge. He turned one of his businesses into a shelter and is hosting others in the basement of another building. 

“We are helping them until they can go back to their homes.”

Most of the Yazidis who were trapped on Sinjar Mountain are heading for the town of KhaniqWith an estimated population of 60,000 Khaniq has received some 15,000 families (90,000 individuals) from Sinjar and nearby villages 

This farmer, Khayri, spent nine days on the mountain with his family.

“Hundreds of children died on the mountain. The planes dropped food aid but three quarters of the people did not see it”. 

A testimony echoed by many of the displaced. Hamad from Sinjar says his mother died on the mountain.

The ICRC is distributing food and other essential items to the displaced in Khaniq as well as in Hawija and Rania in the provinces of Kiruku, Dohuk and Sulamaniyah. The Iraqi Red Crescent is  distributing assistance in other provinces. 

But the needs are immense as the humanitarian crisis continues.


Location: Duhok, Khanik, Northern Iraq
Filming date: 11 August  2014
Length: 4’12
Format: H264 Mov HD & SD
Production: Saleh Dabbakeh and Claire Doole
Camera: Saleh Dabbakeh
Sound: Arabic
ICRC ref: AV208N

Copyright: ICRC access all

00:00 Internally displaced sheltering in underpasses in Dohuk

00:20 SOUNDBITE ARABIC (Young Boy – no name)
“We were 8 days on the mountain. We had nothing to eat. We thought we would  either die or leave the mountain. We had nothing to eat. We left and they attacked us with bullets. Perhaps they used a heavy machine gun against us. We were walking and did not think that they would l shoot us. . They were far away. We went to the Syrian border. The Kurdish Protection Units saved us. We stayed two days there.”.

00:57 Exteriors of unfinished building in Dohuk

01:16 SOUNDBITE ABD-al-AHAD businessman
“This is a group of displaced from Hatari village, on the Mosul road. They came to us and we allocated space for them. We are helping them until the crisis is over and they are able, insh’allah to go back to their homes.”

02:08 Khaniq people in tents

“We stayed nine days on the mountain. People were in a bad shape. People who went up thought they would be there for an hour to two before coming back. They didn’t take clothes. They didn’t take materials. They couldn’t find any water. Children died in their hundreds on the mountain. No assistance. The planes brought assistance once or twice and threw it down. Three quarters of the people didn’t see the assistance.”

“I saw four old people who remained on the mountain, which was like a hill. There was no water or anything else. As I went by, I saw with my own eyes old people dying there. My own mother died on that mountain.”

03.19 People going to the distribution
03:37 Families with young children in hand made cradle
04:12 END

Duration : 3m 38s
Size : 233.4 MB
On Screen Credit: ICRC or logo

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