Iraq: ISIS sells Yazidi women; Iran intervenes?
After the abduction of more than 500 Yazidi women and girls by ISIS fighters at Sinjar, the jihadist group has established a special office in the Quds neighborhood of Mosul city where the women are being sold, according to Evar Ibrahim, head of the Women's Committee in the Kurdistan Regional Government's parliament. Ibrahim said the girls are being sold for 30,000 dinars, or about $26. "Despite selling them, the Yazidi girls have been raped by the IS insurgents," Ibrahim added. (BasNews) An official spokesman of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in Khanaqen district, Hemin Mansour, charged that ISIS militants are evicting any remaining Kurdish families from Jalawla (Diyala governorate), and have demolished some houses belonging to Kurdish residents of the town. The evictions are being justified on the grounds that the Kurdish families were collaborating with the Peshmerga. The ISIS flag is also being raised over seized Kurdish homes to make them a target for air-strikes. (BasNews)
During a Kurdistan parliament delegation visit to the Garmian area near ISIS lines in Jalawla, an anonymous Peshmerga source told the independent local BasNews that an Iranian Quds force is operating there. The delegation charged that US warplanes are not attacking Garmian and Khanaqen due to Iranian forces' control of the area. The Peshmerga commander in Garmian area, Mahmud Sangawi, rejected reports of an Iranian presence. (BasNews)
Acrimony is rising between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraq's central government. KRG President Massoud Barzani charged that Baghdad is responsible for the current crisis, and hasn't taken responsibility for fighting ISIS or helping the displaced. The comments came as Barzani met in Erbil with the French ambassador to Iraq, Denis Gauer, who pledged military aid to the KRG—over the protests of Baghdad. (BasNews, BasNews)
Iraqi leaders are still struggling to woo Sunni Arabs into the resistance against ISIS. Mosul's governor, Atheel al-Nujaifi, now exiled in Baghdad, called on Arab tribes to support Kurdish Peshmerga forces and stand against ISIS. Nujaifi urged: "You are all well-known, kind and strong tribes and you have a shared history and land with Kurds, Christians and Yazidis... IS militants have been a stain on our history. They have destroyed mosques, robbed Muslims' money, called for the looting of Christians' property. They have committed crimes against Yazidi people. Now is time to put our interior problems aside. IS is a cancer that has infected Arab countries.... It is time to prevent your children from believing in IS speeches. Wise people have to be strong and take responsibility in protecting Mosul in particular and Iraq in general." (BasNews)
Sheikh Awad Saeed, leader of Sunni Arab tribes in the embattled town of Haditha (Anbar governorate), the site of strategic hydro-electric works, pledged that his men would fight to the death against ISIS. "The tribes in Haditha are defending themselves and categorically reject IS and will do what it takes to prevent it from entering the town," Saeed said. (Azzaman)
UN officials have warned that some 1,500 Yazidis and Christians may have been forced into sexual slavery. Iranian forces in Iraq are of course allied with the Shi'ite-dominated Baghdad government. See map of Iraq governorates; map of Kurdish autonomous zone.