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Video: On the run from Islamic State

Maclean’s correspondent Michael Petrou’s latest video dispatches


 

The Islamic State has been violently targeting non-Sunni Muslim Iraqis for many months.

This week, the group tried to justify sexually enslaving and selling Yezidi women and girls with their interpretation of Islam in the latest edition of their propaganda magazine. And many Iraqi Christians fear they will soon have to leave Iraq for good.

The video below was shot at the St. Joseph Church in Erbil, where some 275 families are sheltering on the grounds of the church, and in an unfinished building across the road. Most are from the city of Karakosh and nearby villages, a longstanding Christian area southeast of Mosul:

The next video was shot in the far northwest of Iraqi Kurdistan on a bluff overlooking Syria. The families here, about 14, are Yezidis. Most were besieged by Islamic State on Mount Sinjar earlier this year. Stranded and surrounded with little food or water, they escaped into Syria before returning to a safer area of Iraqi Kurdistan. Most left behind were murdered or enslaved. Thousands are living in a nearby IDP camp. The families here, however, are sheltering in an old and abandoned stone building. They are largely on their own here, but have a little more space than those in the official camps:


 

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