AUSTIN, TEXAS (KXAN) – As conflict continues in Iraq, an Austin man is breathing a sigh of relief after his family was able to escape a mountain where Isis forces trapped an estimated 40,000 people.
Khaleel lives in Austin, but is from Iraq. He asked to not use his last name due to fear Isis may target his family, says his relatives were able to escape Mount Sinjar.
Isis forces have targeted Yazidis because of their beliefs. There are believed to be about 700,000 Yazidis in the world; an estimated 500,000 live in Iraq.
Despite Khaleel’s family being able to escape, he says their plight is not over.
“Their living situation is still critical,” Khaleel said. “They do not have much to live with. We are still waiting on some countries that can help them move to other countries to protect them, protect their religion, protect their rights and protect their security.”
Although tens of thousands of Yazidis were rescued by Kurdish forces fighting against Isis, Khaleel says a couple thousand Yazidis are still stuck on Mount Sinjar.