MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) - Refugees trapped by the Islamic State (IS) on Sinjar mountain in northern Iraq have been rescued David Swanson, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported Thursday.
"We're just receiving the information right now. We've just heard that people over the last 24 hours have been extracted and the UN is mobilizing resources to ensure that these people are assisted on arrival," Swanson told Reuters via telephone from Iraq.
Swanson reported that recent IS attacks have caused approximately 200,000 people to move northward into Iraqi Kurdistan, Dohuk Governorate and areas inside of Nineveh Governate. Swanson also revealed that he had received reports that thousands of refugees may have fled into Syria waiting to reenter Iraq. The OCHA spokesman had no details on the exact number of refugees evacuated or who was extracting them.
"We have received reports of dehydrated children and we know that at least 40 children have died," a spokesman for UN children's agency UNICEF in Geneva, Christopher Tidey, told Reuters. Tidey added that most of the refugee families remain on the mountain.
IS said in a statement on its Twitter account today that its fighters have so far seized 15 towns, the Mosul dam on the Tigris River and a military base in attacks that began last weekend. The militants currently hold a strong foothold in Iraqi Kurdistan in northern Iraq.