A combination photo shows children from the minority Yazidi sect, who fled the Iraqi town of Sinjar due to violence by Islamic State militants, as they pose at their holy Lilash temple in northern Iraq. Thousands of Yazidis have been shot, buried alive or sold into slavery by Islamic State militants, who regard them as devil-worshippers. U.S. President Barack Obama authorized air strikes in Iraq in August, citing the duty to prevent an impending genocide of Yazidis at the hands of Islamic State militants after they overran a vast swathe of northern Iraq. Simonovic said that Islamic State was forcing Yazidis to either convert to Islam or be killed with the intent of destroying the religious group. Islamic State originally attacked the area around Sinjar, in northwestern Iraq, in August. They advanced on Iraq’s Sinjar mountain, tightening a siege of thousands of stranded Yazidis, who called on the United States and its allies to act to avert more bloodshed.
Troops of the Interior Ministry march in a parade during a ceremony marking Iraqi Police Day’s 93rd anniversary at a police academy in Baghdad on Thursday
A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter holds up a piece of clothing worn by an Islamic State fighter in Kesarej village, south of Zumar, Nineveh province. Kurdish peshmerga fighters have fought their way to Iraq’s Sinjar mountain and freed hundreds of people trapped there by Islamic State fighter. The assault, backed by U.S. air strikes, ended the months-long ordeal of hundreds of people from Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority, who had been besieged on the mountain since Islamic State stormed Sinjar and other Kurdish-controlled parts of northern Iraq in August
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Displaced Iraqis, who were forced to flee their home because of Islamic State’s advance earlier this year, queue for humanitarian aid that is being distributed by the Barzani Charity Foundation after being delivered by lorries from the Polish charity SOS FOR LIFE at a refugee camp near Zakho in Duhok, Iraq
A police officer stands guard as Shia pilgrims head to the holy city of Kerbala, ahead of the holy Shia ritual of Arbaeen, in Baghdad on Wednesday. Arbaeen falls 40 days after the holy day of Ashura
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An Iraqi Christian, who fled from her home because of Islamic State’s advance earlier this year, hangs up washed clothes to dry besides a displaced persons’ camp near Umm al-Nour Church, which is now home to hundreds of displaced Iraqi Christians in Erbil, Iraq.
Alaa Al-Marjani /Reuters
Iraqi security forces march on the outskirts of Najaf, south of Baghdad on Wednesday
Iraqi Shia Muslims self-flagellate in Basra during a ceremony to mark Ashura, which commemorates the seventh century slaying of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed.
Boys inspect the site of double car bombings in the northern Shia district al-Hurriyah in Baghdad, Iraq. On Tuesday, officials say a wave of bombings targeted commercial areas across the country, killing and wounding dozens of people
US Air Force/Reuters
A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria, in this U.S. These aircraft were part of a large coalition strike package that was the first to strike ISIS targets in Syria. At least 14 Islamic State fighters were killed in air strikes by U.S.-led forces overnight in northeast Syria, a group monitoring the war said on Thursday and the Syrian air force bombed rebel areas in the west of the country.
Kurdish peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants on the front line in Khazir
Ahmed Jadallah /Reuters
A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells towards Zummar, controlled by Islamic State (IS), near Mosul in Iraq
Iraq’s new premier Haider al-Abadi sits during a parliamentary session to vote on Iraq’s new government at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad
Asaib Ahl al-Haq Shia militia fighters from the south of Iraq and Kurdish peshmerga forces walk with their weapons as they take control of Sulaiman Pek from the Islamist State militants, in the northwest of Tikrit city
Displaced Iraqi children from the Yazidi community are pictured in a refugee camp near the Turkey-Iraq border at Silopi in Sirnak
Cpl Neil Bryden RAF/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Aircrew aboard an RAF Hercules prepare to deliver humanitarian aid to Yazidi refugees in the Sinjar mountains in Northern Iraq.
Displaced people from the minority Yazidi community leave Sinjar town, northwest Iraq, and walk towards the Syrian border
Displaced people, who fled from the violence in the province of Nineveh, arrive at Sulaimaniya province on Friday. The United States began to drop relief supplies to beleaguered Yazidi refugees fleeing Islamist militants in Iraq
Iraqi Shias clean the grave of a relative at one of the world’s biggest cemeteries in the holy city of Najaf, on Tuesday in Iraq