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Iraqi Army Retreats in Battle with ISIS
Ramadi, Anbar
By omariq
21 May 2015

May 21, 2015
Ramadi, Iraq

This video, recorded by a member of ISIS, was obtained from a source in contact with ISIS.
It shows ISIS fighters firing on Iraqi army vehicles in the distance in the al-Falahat area, between Fallujah and Ramadi on May 21st, 2015..
Some of the army vehicles appear to retreat from the area leaving a number of vehicles behind. ISIS fighters can be heard shouting "Allah Akbar" (God is Greatest).
DISCLAIMER: The appearance of this video on the Transterra Media website does not in anyway constitute an endorsement by Transterra Media of ISIS or any claims or statements made in this video.

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ISIS Mass Execution Grave Discovered
Saddiya
By mushtaq mohammed
15 Jan 2015

January 15, 2014
Saadiya, Iraq

Iraqi army and Shia militia fighters say they have discovered a mass grave in Saadiya, in northeast Diyala province, containing at least 23 bodies. They believe five of the dead are Peshemerga soldiers and the remainders are Iraqi police officers. Peshmerga intelligence officials told the Iraqi army that they believed there to be a mass grave in this location, based on information obtained from ISIS prisoners. According to the Peshmerga, ISIS fighters executed the policemen and Peshmerga soldiers when they took control of Saadiya. The Iraqi army, working with the Peshmerga and Shia militias recaptured the area in November 2014.

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The Refugee Crisis Continues in Iraq
Iraq
By Faysal Mortada
06 Jan 2015

Refugees from all over Iraq, who fled their homes in the wake of ISIS attacks, are now living in al Khazer camp near the Turkish border. Living conditions are hash and the refugees are suffering from a lack of food and water, and proper shelter against the winter.

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Stuck in the Mud Near Ramadi
Anbar
By mushtaq mohammed
17 Dec 2014

December 17, 2014
Anbar, Iraq

Hundreds on Iraqi drivers are stuck in their cars on a muddy road near Ramadi in Anbar Province west of Baghdad.
The Iraqi army closed the main highway between Ramadi and the Sajariya district east of the city for security reasons, forcing drivers to use an alternate unpaved road.
Several days of heavy rain turned the road to mud, causing cars to become stuck and creating a long traffic jam. Employees have been unable get to work and refugees from areas where there is fighting have been stuck in their cars on the road for more than 24 hours.
The Iraqi army and Sunni tribal fighters launched an offensive in late November 2014 to drive ISIS militants out of the Sajariya area, which is under partial control of the group.

(02:41-03:24) Ossama, Employee (man, Arabic):

"We have been stuck for two days, we cannot cross over to go to work. The main road is blocked by the army, for protection purposes, because the security situation is unstable. This road, as you can see here, is not useful. This area has been occupied for over a month by three or four people of those who want to create an Islamic state. We do not want your Islamic state; we do not want this type of Islam. They should come see the families and the women who are tripping and falling in the mud since yesterday, and people cannot even get to their workplaces."

(03:25-03:38) Ibrahim, Refugee from Ramadi (man, Arabic):

"People are fleeing, going back and forth and the roads are blocked. Nobody is able to leave this area, in all this mud. Even if someone needs to transport a sick person or do something urgent, he cannot cross over."

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Kurdish Women Military Training
Erbil
By mushtaq mohammed
14 Dec 2014

December 14, 2014
Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

Special units of Kurdish women fighters train with the Peshmerga to fight against ISIS. Video shows the women practicing with various weapons and methods of warfare.

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Iraqi Army Takes Down ISIS Flag in Di...
Muqdadiyah
By mushtaq mohammed
13 Dec 2014

December 13, 2014
Muqdadiyah, Diyala, Iraq

Iraqi Army soldiers gain important ground in Muqdadiyah, a city in the Diyala governorate of Iraq, 80km northeast of Baghdad. The Iraqi troops were able to liberate several northern villages and capture ISIS bases and artillery after days of heavy clashes.

Over 100 families escaped from the Muqdadiya city, after several public executions by ISIS at the end of September. ISIS took control over the northern villages of Muqdadiyah, in mid August 2014, and turned them into a stronghold from which they controlled much of the Diyala province.

Transcription:

Army Commander, (man, Arabic):
(00:21-01:00) "There was an operation that lead to the death of 12 ISIS members. We also took their weapons and injured almost 20 of them. This operation was carried out by the SWAT team and popular armed forces. The upcoming operations will liberate the areas of Sensel, Hinbesh, al-Ali, and al-Tayha. This next operation will be very soon."

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Aftermath of Raqqa Bombings by Syrian...
By TTM Contributor 20
01 Dec 2014

27 November 2014 Destruction from recent airstrikes in Raqqa by Syrian Regime warplanes.

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New Shia Militia Unit Prepares to Fig...
Balad
By mushtaq mohammed
29 Nov 2014

November 29, 2014
Balad, Iraq

A regiment from Al-Abbas Combat Division (ACD), a Shia militia loyal to the Iraqi federal government, joined the fight against ISIS in Iraq. The Shia fighters will be positioned on the front lines in the towns of Balad, Ramadi and the outskirts of Kirkuk. A TTM contributor travelled with ACD fighters from the southern city of Karbala to their new front line positions and filmed them on their new posts in the town of Balad, 80km north of Baghdad.

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Iraqi Forces Retake Ramadi from ISIS
Anbar
By mushtaq mohammed
29 Nov 2014

November 29, 2014
Ramadi, Anbar, Iraq

Heavy artillery was used on both sides in fierce clashes as Iraqi government forces and local tribal fighters formed an alliance and drove ISIS fighters out of the Sijariyya suburb of Ramadi, capital of the Anbar province. Iraqi officials said that the country's military launched a major operation to retake this part of the city, that ISIS claimed to have seized on November 21st. Before they retreated, ISIS fighters planted a large number of explosive devices in buildings on several streets which the army have been trying to defuse.

Policeman, (man, Arabic):
(03:32-04:23) "We defused the bombs we found in these houses and helped families get out of them. They [ISIS] planted bombs in these houses and streets. Four people have died as a result of these explosions. We are ready to defuse all the bombs they have planted. Inshallah we will defeat them and liberate all these towns."

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Shots of Raqqa Under ISIS
Raqqa, Syria
By mchreyteh
06 Oct 2014

February-October 2014
Raqqa, Syria

Video shows various shots of Raqqa under the control of ISIS. Footage of beheaded men accused by ISIS of being spies for Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Interviews:

Ibrahim, Citizen of Raqqa:
(01:56) ISIS is imposing taxes on the citizens for water, electricity, cleaning and even telecommunication. The amount of money demanded from the citizens varies from between 500-1000 Syrian Pounds. Even though they do not provide any help or support for the citizens, there are no salaries and the citizens of Raqqa have been severely affected by the regime and ISIS. People are afraid of the airstrikes because it could happen during daytime, they are afraid. (02:36)

Abdul Rahman, Citizen of Raqqa:
(02:37) ISIS imposed taxes on civilians for water, electricity and many other things. We start with the cleaning services, we are supposed to pay the tax for the Islamic affairs authority, but they did not clean the streets. And for the telecommunication, we keep paying but the phone lines cut constantly. It is very bad. As for the electricity, there was no electricity in Raqqa for five continuous days. ISIS is funding itself by imposing taxes on the civilians. (03:21)

Shot list:
ISIS flag in one of the main streets in central Raqqa

Sign: Sorry! this is the freedom we want, based on the Quran and the profit (signed by the lawsuit bureau of ISIS)

The wall of al-Rashid garden: Down ISIS

Various shots of beheaded corpses in the main square in central Raqqa (ISIS claim that they are regime spies)

Interview with Ibrahim, Citizen of Raqqa:(01:56) ISIS is imposing taxes on the citizens for water, electricity, cleaning and even telecommunication. The amount of money demanded from the citizens varies from between 500-1000 Syrian Pounds. Even though they do not provide any help or support for the citizens, there are no salaries and the citizens of Raqqa have been severely affected by the regime and ISIS. People are afraid of the airstrikes because it could happen during daytime, they are afraid. (02:36)

Interview with Abdul Rahman, Citizen of Raqqa:(02:37) ISIS imposed taxes on civilians for water, electricity and many other things. We start with the cleaning services, we are supposed to pay the tax for the Islamic affairs authority, but they did not clean the streets. And for the telecommunication, we keep paying but the phone lines cut constantly. It is very bad. As for the electricity, there was no electricity in Raqqa for five continuous days. ISIS is funding itself by imposing taxes on the civilians.

Child carrying bread and a Kalashinkov rifle on his back

Various shots of Raqqa streets

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Trapped on Mount Sinjar
Sinjar
By Abdulkhaliq Al Jawari
01 Oct 2014

September 29, 2014
Sinjar Mountains, Iraq

Twenty-nine-year-old Safin managed to sneak into the Sinjar mountain in late September in hopes of finding his childhood friend Ali. The two friends have not had any contact since they both fled from ISIS at the beginning of August, 2014. Thousands of Yazidi families where displaced when ISIS attacked their hometowns in Sinjar.
Safin has not been able to locate his friend Ali, but he has been reunited with many of his people. Over 1,500 Yazidi families are still hiding in the mountains since fleeing the ISIS attacks.

Safin had heard many tragic stories about Yazidis dying on the mountains from starvation and thirst. Now he was seeing it with his own eyes and documenting it through his lens. He found dozens of bodies. and was able to identify some of them though ID cards and photos.

In this video he shows how people were still struggling to provide food and water. Some children collect cattle dung for fires.

Safin met fighters from the “Sinjar Protection Brigade“, a Yazidi militia which escorted refugees into Syria then returned with weapons, provided by Syrian Kurdish fighters, to defend the remaining Yazidi families stranded on Sinjar mountains.

The Sinjar mountains are still surrounded by ISIS forces. The Sinjar Protection Brigade has fought off continued attacks by ISIS, the most recent on October 21st.

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In exile: Iraqi women seek refuge
Bardarash, Dohuk, Rovia, Diyarbakir
By Arianna Pagani
24 Sep 2014

During the days of terror on Mount Sinjar, about 200 women were kidnapped by the militias of the Islamic State to be converted to Islam and sold in the occupied cities of Mosul and Tal Afar. This barbarism is not new to the chronicles of war.

The Islamic State's attack on Mount Sinjar led to the exodus of about 500,000 people, mostly from the Christian, Yazidi and Shabak minorities. These refugees, currently under the protection of the Kurdish militias, are living in the streets, under bridges or in abandoned places in Erbil and surrounding villages. Many of those who manage to escape the conflict have suffered losses in their family that effect them not only economically, but mentally and emotionally. Depression and anxiety in addition to insecurity are a constant challenge.

The UNHCR anticipated there to be over 900,000 internally displaced people in Iraq by the end of 2014. With the rise of ISIS, that number has been more than tripled, with 2.9 million displaced according to International Displacement Monitoring Center. The situation of internally displaced women, not only in Iraq but in conflict zones around the world, is especially precarious as the breakdown in social structures is a risk factor for gender-based violence. In their planning document for 2014, the UNHCR says it is ramping up its efforts to protect refugee and internally displaced women. However, agencies like the UNHCR as well as local associations can only care for and provide aid to so many displaced people, leaving others to fend for themselves.

The condition of the women and children displaced in Iraq is tragic: not only from a material point of view, but also from a psychological and ethical perspective. While talking with them, the elderly were crying because they don't see a future for their land, culture or traditions and were continuously asking, "What did we do wrong to deserve to be killed?" The women were mostly passive, trapped between emotions, tears, the inability to react, “deafened by pain and suffering.” They seemed to understand that as time passes by, the hope of returning to a normal and fair life fades away.

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Iraqi Christian Woman Defies ISIS
al-Qosh, Iraq
By rsoufi
03 Sep 2014

August 2, 2014
Al-Qosh, Iraq

Basima al-Safar, an Iraqi Christian woman, is decorating her house with Christian iconography in the al-Qosh suburb of Nineveh valley. When ISIS took control over the neighboring towns, Basima’s nephew forced her to leave her home in al-Qosh along with all the women from the town. She insisted on returning home and did so after just six days, despite the of ISIS’ threats towards Christians and other minorities in Iraq. She says that, if they return, she is wiling to take up arms and defend the Peshmerga controlled town. Basima has been working on turning her house into a Christian-themed museum as a statement illustrating the Christian heritage of Iraq. She says that, before the rise of ISIS, people from all types of religious backgrounds used to visit her house and look at the artwork. Basima’s mother was a dance choreographer and founded the first traditional dance group in al-Qosh.

Transcription:

Basima, Iraqi Christian (woman, Arabic)

SOUNDBITE 1: (01:39-02:03) “Is it possible that a person is forced to leave their country? That should not happen, God does not accept that. They come and kick us out of our home and country, they are strangers who come and kick us out, and the people who got harmed the most by this are the Christians and the Yazidis”.

SOUNDBITE 2: (02:13-03:03) “Immigration is not appealing to me, I do not like the idea. My nephew forced me into the car, he actually forced me to go. What I like is to stay home, I had a weapon, I actually had a Kalashnikov, and I have used it once. I wanted to carry a weapon and fight, but my nephew forbade me to do so. A person should learn how to use a weapon, especially women. Those Yazidi women, if they had weapons, nobody would have dared to attack them. But they did not have any weapons”.

SOUNDBITE 3: (03:04-03:26) “They say we immigrated and left. They should not say that, we did not flee. It is a shame for us to have something like that said. I do not have fear, I only fear God. I do not fear those who came to ruin our country”.

SOUNDBITE 4: (03:27-03:53) “We will change all of the posters, we will renew them all, the colors are pale, because of the sun and the rain, we will renew it all”.

SOUNDBITE (04:08-04:37) “The pictures, this picture is of my mother and father, this is my mother she is from Dhouk. She formed a Folk band in al-Qosh. This photo is very old. This is the first music band and Saddam Hussein is in the picture with us, over 35 years ago. All of those children are old and married now, and they have grandchildren”.

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Yazidis Smuggle Themselves Into Turkey
Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan
By rsoufi
31 Aug 2014

August 31, 2014
Zakho, Iraq

Thousands of Yazidi refugees who where displaced from their homes in Sinjar, are seeking a new life outside of Iraq. The minority, who ISIS branded as "devil worshipers", fled their homes in Sinjar to apparent safety in Kurdish controlled Dohuk, where they lived in makeshift refugee camps. However, having lost any hope of ever returning to their homes, they chose instead to leave Iraq and look for new opportunities in a European country.
The video shows Yazidi people traveling on foot through the mountains on the Iraqi Kurdistan-Turkish border, as they try to enter Turkey unofficially.

Interviews:

Amin Mirza, Yazidi refugee (man, Arabic):
"I am going to Turkey."

Interviewer: Why did you decide to go to Turkey?
"We are going to Turkey looking for peace, safety and stability."

Interviewer: What happened to you in Sinjar? Can you tell me the story?
"What happened to us in Sinjar didn't happen to anyone else. It was a genocide, we were left with no money or clothes. Two of my nieces were captured by ISIS. My brother, his wife and their two children were also taken by ISIS. Where shall I go? I have to find somewhere safe."

Interviewer: Do you think Turkey is safe and do you think it's possible to settle in Turkey?
"Now it's safer in Turkey, thousands of people from my city are already there and are doing well in Turkey."

Interviewer: Did they all go this way [to Turkey]?
"Yes they all passed through the mountains this way with the help of the PKK."

Interviewer: How long have you been walking for to get to Turkey?
"I don't care if it takes me 2 or 3 days to get there, I will sacrifice myself to get my children to a safer place."

Ginar, Yazidi refugee (woman, Arabic):
"They captured our relatives, but just before they could capture us we ran away. One hour before they took over the town, we knew that the Peshmerga had retreated so we left."

Interviewer: Do you know anyone who was captured by ISIS?
"Yes, my cousin and my brother in law, his wife and children were all taken by ISIS and we know nothing about where they are. We came here to cross to Turkey but we were told that the border is closed and so we are waiting for it to be opened."

Interviewer: How long do you think you can stay here in the mountain?
"We really don't know. Yesterday the children were freezing, we have no food, nothing, we just came as we are. If we have to stay here for two or three more days, I don't think the children will survive.. We adults can stay alive but I doubt the children can."

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Palestinians in Iraq Displaced Repeat...
Erbil
By Jawdat Ahmed
28 Aug 2014

Palestinians, who fled their home country in 1948 and settled in Iraq, have been displaced again in their adopted country. The families left Palestine after the creation of the state of Israel and set up residency in Mosul. They were persecuted under the regime of Saddam Hussein and denied rights of ownership given to regular Iraqi citizens. Despite this they stayed in Mosul for years until ISIS fighters took over the city and encouraged them to fight with them under the pretense of giving the Palestinians a state (Islamic State).

After they refused, the Palestinians fled Mosul to the Khazer refugee camp in the Kalak region, 50km east of Erbil, on the Iraqi-Syrian border, along with other refugees from northern Iraq. However ISIS forces kept advancing, taking over more towns in the region, which lead to the Kurdish Peshmerga evacuating the refugees from the area. They moved the Palestinians to the Baharka camp near Erbil, where they are sheltering for now.

Ibrahim, Palestinian father (man, Arabic):

“At first let me tell you that we are Palestinians, and we have been suffering continuously from 1948 until now. We have been persecuted and treated unjustly since then. Even during the rule of Saddam Hussein, Palestinians used to suffer as well. We weren't allowed to have Iraqi nationality, we couldn't own a house, and we couldn't own anything under our names. Even when Hussein was overthrown and the new regime took control we still suffered. To Arabs in general, Palestinians are terrorists. Anywhere we go, we are always treated in a negative way, once we show our IDs that say that we are Palestinian, the way they treat us changes.

The day the fighters came into Mosul, you can call them whatever you want “ISIS” or “IS” or anything, they already had information that we are Palestinian. They came to us asking us to fight with them, under the pretext that we are oppressed, and that they will help us have our own state. Of course we couldn't allow our children to join the fighting, or else they will be considered terrorists and will probably end up dead, but we had no other choice, no one can argue with them. If we had we would be treated as apostates. They told us we have two days to make our children join the fighting. Even if they can't fight, they will train them and give them salaries. We, the decision makers in the community, held a meeting and decided to flee the area the next day to the Khazer camp.

Our situation is not safe, if the next day Mosul is freed [from ISIS], the government will tell us to go back, but when we are in Mosul, our lives are in danger. Since we are Palestinian, the Iraqi government will treat us as terrorists. If we go to Mosul today, ISIS will punish us because we didn't fight on their side. Either way, our situation in Iraq is dangerous, we thank God we're in Kurdistan now, but our future is unknown. We demand the UNHCR to settle us in another country, because our future here is unstable.”

Ali, Palestinian father (man, Arabic):

“We ask the UN and the Human rights associations to look after us, and take us out of the country. We suffered a lot since we came here. Ever since I was born in this country, I didn't know peace or stability; we have no rights at all. We demand the UN to take us out of Iraq.

We came to this refugee camp without a thing, not even a dollar. We decided to look for a job in order to survive. We are living all together, 8 families supporting and helping each other.

The state of Palestine has provided nothing for us since 1948. We always wished the Palestinian president and the government would look out for us. The only thing we got from any Palestinian official was the official form to get into Erbil easily and that was given by the Palestinian ambassador, here in Iraq.”

Shot list:

00:00 - 01:26 Various shots of Khazer refugee camp and Peshmerga forces
01:27 - 02:16 Various shots of Baharka refugee camp and cutaways of the Palestinian families
08:52 - 10:15 (End) Various shots of Baharka refugee camp and refugees

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Kurdish Females Train To Fight ISIS
Dohuk
By rsoufi
26 Aug 2014

August 25, 2014
Dohuk, Iraqi Kurdistan

Kurdish females train to use weapons in a training camp established by Peshmerga officers in Dhuk, northern Iraq.
The female trainees have volunteered to join the Peshmerga fighters in their war against ISIS.

Interviews:

  • Vian pendroy, Supervisor of the female volunteers training camp (Kurdish):

“After we sensed the danger of ISIS reaching our area, we considered the importance of having military training courses volunteer women. We started the course with thirty volunteer women, the course lasts for ten days, three hours per day. Volunteers receive training in military discipline, national awareness, field training for weapon using, and the lifestyle of the Peshmerga forces.
The purpose of this course is to improve the role of women in supporting the Peshmerga forces, using a weapon to defend herself and her family in emergencies”.
All women taking this course are volunteers who are either lawyers or engineers.
"بعدما شعرنا بوجود خطر داعش على منطقتنا فكرنا بضرورة فتح دورات للتدريب العسكري وإستخدام السلاح لعدد من النساء المتطوعات بدأنا بفتح هذه الدورة التي شاركت فيها 30 إمرأة وأن الدورة ستستمر لمدة 10 أيام وبمعدل ثلاث ساعات يوميا ويتم تدريب المشاركات خلال الدورة على الإنضباط العسكري والتوعية الوطنية وغيرها من المواضيع أيضا فضلا عن التدريب الميداني على رمي السلاح في جبهات القوات والتعلم على أسلوب حياة قوات البيشمركة هناك وتهدف إقامة هذه الدورة لقيام المرأة بدورها في دعم قوات البيشمركة و حمل السلاح للدفاع عن نفسها وأسرتها في الحالات الطارئة السناء المشاركات في هذه الدورة جميعهن متطوعات بينهن يمارسن مهنة المحامات والهندسة "

  • Jihan Kormaki, Volunteer fighter (Arabic): "We are now able to go with the Peshmerga and to fight against terrorism".

"4-5 years ago, the society was conservative, but now, and especially in the past two years, society is becoming more scientific, more interested in literature. The image of women has changed; even our grandparents now think that women are able to take an active role in society, and to help the man in all fields, also in war or a military frontier".

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Art Helps Yazidi Refugee Children Ove...
Zakho
By rsoufi
22 Aug 2014

August 22, 2014
Dhuk, Iraq

Artists volunteer to help Yazidi children overcome trauma in a makeshift refugee camp in Dohuk, Iraqi-Kurdistan.
The children in the camp have undergone incredible hardship as they were forced to flee their hometowns in Sinjar and Lalish as ISIS threatened to kill and kidnap them.
Aouni Sami, an art school teacher, volunteered along with two of his friends to travel from the Netherlands to Zakho and provide the children with painting tools and teach them how to express themselves through art.

Interviews:

  • Zahra, Yazidi refugee (Kurdish):

I used to be a good student and al my school teachers loved me.. I used to draw and sing to them at my school in Sinjar.. Today I want to draw our house that we left behind in Sinjar.. We live in a tent now..
كنت تلميذة ناجحة في المدرسة وكل أستاذتي كانوا يحبونني.. وكنت أرسم و أغني لهم بإستمرار في المدرسة بسنجار .. الآن أريد أن أرسم صورة منزلنا الذي تركناه في سنجار.. اليوم نحن نسكن في خمية..

  • Aouni Sami, Artist (Arabic):

02: 21 – 2:54 I reside in Holland. I was feeling very emotional and weak regarding what I was hearing and seeing on the news. I felt like I needed to come to Kurdistan and help the population, especially the children, in ways where they can uncover and express their feelings. [It is] also in an attempt to show them some form of entertainment.

2:58 – 4:13 In schools, I used to give art classes. All the students consider me as ‘The Best Teacher” and they just wanted to draw and paint. Here, in this community, thousands of children are asking for a paper to draw on, as well as some coloring pens. The value of coloring pens in a regular atmosphere is worth nothing, but here, coloring pens seem to have a very high value. They would ask me for a paper and a pen to draw their experiences and express their feelings. Some of them drew the area they used to reside in, their villages, and their houses. They still hold on to this space and expressed it in drawing. Many others drew violet pictures showing tragedy and death.

  • Erevan, Yazidi refugee (Kurdish):

In this painting I tried to reveal my hometown Sinjar and Yazidi religious signs and rituals, in addition to the houses where we used to live, and I hope to go back there when there is peace and security.
في هذا الرسم حاولت التعبير عن منطقتي سنجار و رموز الديانة الإيزيدية وطقوس العبادة و المنازل التي كنا نعيش فيها ونأمل أن نرجع إليها بسلام وأمان.

  • Evan, Yazidi refugee (Kurdish): I am a grade three student, I don’t think that I will be back to school soon, after all what we’ve been through.. All my drawings express the miserable situation that we have been through in the Sinjar mountains, these days are unforgettable, they’re full of fear, hunger, thrust.. I call on the children of the world to help us
    أنا كنت طالبة في مرحلة الثالث متوسط لا أعتقد انني سأعود إلى مقاعد الدراسة قريبا بعد ما حصل لنا.. كل رسوماتي تعبر عن ما حدث لنا من مأساة في جبل سنجار.. لايمكن أن أنسى تللك الأيام المليئة بالخوف والجوع والعطش وأدعوا اطفال العالم إلى مساعدتنا..

  • Hayat, Yazidi refugee (Kurdish):

We suffered a lot.. We spent 8 days of starvation after being besieged by ISIS in the mountains of Sinjar . They were threatening to kill and burn us.. We then left the mountains and walked for days to save ourselves. Many children died in the mountains because of hunger and thrust.. I am trying to express all this through my drawing.
عانينا كثيرا.. أمضينا ثمانية أيام من الجوع الشديد بسبب محاصرتنا في جبل سنجار من قبل داعش.. كانوا يهددوننا بالقتل والحرق.. وبعدها تمكننا من الهرب ومشينا على الأقدام لعدة أيام حتى نتمكن من إنقاذ أنفسنا.. العديد من الأطفال ماتوا في الجبل وعلى الطريق بسبب الجوع والعطش.. وسأحاول التعبير عن تلك المعانات من خلال رسوماتي

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Iraqi Shiite Turkmen Protest to Break...
Karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
20 Aug 2014

August 20, 2014
Karbala, Iraq

Iraqi Shiite Turkmen from Amerli, a village in Salahuddine province, protest in Karbala to demand the breaking of the siege of their hometown.
ISIS imposed the siege on Amerli in June 2014, trapping around 15,000 residents inside.
The Protestors are demanding that the Iraqi Army and central government provide Amerli residents with weapons and help them break the siege.
The protesters were evacuated by air from Amerli by the Iraqi government during an aid delivery mission.

Interview:
Maytham Amerli, Protester / Sheikh from Amerli

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Iraqi Army Clash With ISIS in Tikrit
Tikrit, Iraq
By mushtaq mohammed
19 Aug 2014

August 19, 2014
Tikrit, Iraq

Iraqi Army soldiers clash with ISIS militants in the Oja neighborhood of Tikrit, north of Baghdad.
Fighting with the help of the Shiite Abu al-Fadel al-Abbas brigade, the Iraqi Army launched an assault against ISIS to retake Tikrit, the largest city of Salahuddine province.
Extremist fighters of the "Islamic State" seized control over Tikrit in mid June, 2014.
The assault was repelled by strong ISIS defenses, leading Iraqi Army forces and the Abu al-Fadel al-Abbas brigade to retreat.

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Shiite Militia Fights Alongside Iraqi...
Tikrit
By mushtaq mohammed
19 Aug 2014

August 19, 2014
Tikrit, Iraq

Militants of the Shiite Abu al-Fadel al-Abbas Brigade, fight alongside the Iraqi army in the Oja town of Tikrit, north of Baghdad.
The Army forces launched an assault against ISIS to retake Tikrit, the largest city of Salahuddine province.
Extremist fighters of the "Islamic State" seized control over Tikrit in mid June, 2014.
The attack has soon stopped, after the strong defense of ISIS militants forced the Army forces and Abu al-Fadel al-Abbas fighters to retreat.

Militia Fighter:
"here are the brigade of Abu al-Fadel al-Abbas taking over al-Oja area, following the orders of the commander, and here is the commander daring the danger and entering al-Oja area."

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Residents of Zakho Volunteer to Feed ...
Dahuk
By rsoufi
18 Aug 2014

August 18, 2014
Zakho, Iraq

Kurdish residents of Zakho, a Kurdish town in the Dohuk province on the Iraqi-Syrian border, are distributing food to Yazidi refugees from Sinjar. The residents launched a mobile kitchen that drives around the town providing daily meals to the Yazidi families that are taking refuge in schools and unfinished buildings.

Mahdi Mohamad, Volunteer cook:
This is a charity project, taken by the inhabitants of Zakho, since refugees are arriving here, we should welcome them and treat them well, concerning food and money and the government also helps.
Interviewer: we are now standing in a specific kitchen, can you explain to me who funds this place? does the government fund it, or a specific person
it is a specific person from Zakho, who does not have a goal other than helping people, he is doing bios duty and the government is doing its duty.

Samo Mto Ibrahim: Yazidi refugee:
According to what we heard after Yazidi's came to Zakho that there are people who are living in unfinished buildings, they do not have blankets, water or food.
what do you demand?
we demand for services to be provided, food, and shelter, and to build camps. we ask this from the central government to take care of the refugees and the government of Kurdstan.
You have been here for a few days, how many time per day do you get provided with meals?
we receive two meals, lunch and dinner, but if we want breakfast we pay for it.
do you have any money?
not everyone, only a few people, so people received a salary from Kurdstan, but other do not have money nor jobs.
how do those people manage?
well it is very hard, if it was not for the aid, they could not have survived.
how are the humanity concerned institutions are being able to reach to you?
not all of them are able to reach us, and their abilities are little.

Hassan Suleiman:
The situation here is tragic, we thank the inhabitants of Kurdstan who provided us with many services, however, we did not receive anything from any governmental institutions, even the humanity institutions were not able to provide much for us.
we thank the families of Zakho, who helped us, we thank the family of Hashem Taaribi, who provided lunch and dinner meals for over 2000 people in Zakho.
concerning the governmental institutions, they did not provide much and there are lots of people with a tragic situation who are staying in the street, with no food or shelter, or even money.

Khoieda Suleiman:
we did not receive any aid from the government, all the help we got was from the inhabitants, from institutions or governmental institutions, we did not receive anything.
we are provided with two meals everyday, for lunch and dinner. in this school there are 600-620 individuals, and almost 100 families, we are provided with food and beverages, the man is doing his best.
our situation is difficult, but ever since we came here, they have providing food for us, he is doing his best.
is the food he is providing enough for you?
well to be honest, concerning water, we do not have water, and he is maybe incapable of providing breakfast, but he is bringing lunch and dinner for us. our situation is better than what we are hearing about other people in Sinjar and other areas, we are much better until now, but still, the situation is hard, as you can see.
Interviewer: what do you demand from then government?
we demand them to find a solution for us, concerning Sinjar, nobody wishes to leave their town, neighbors, and home, but if we return to Sinjar, we will suffer, and we do not want our children to suffer the way we did.

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Khazer Refugee Camp is Under ISIS Threat
Khazer
By Arshed
15 Aug 2014

August 15, 2014
Kalak, Iraq

Peshmerga forces patrols check the refugee camp of Khazer in the Kalak region, 50 Km east of Erbil, on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
More than 3,000 refugees fleeing Mosul were evacuated on August 7, after ISIS militants expanded reaching Khazer.
According to the Peshmerga forces, ISIS militants are situated at 3 Km far from from the refugee camp. The Kurdish fighters are trying to build a first line zone of defense to stop ISIS expansion.

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Yazidis Protest To "Stop The Genocide"
Fishkhabour, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Arshed
14 Aug 2014

August 14, 2014
Fishkhabour, Syrian-Iraqi Kurdistan Border

Hundreds of Yazidis, shouted "Stop the Genocide" as they protested on the Fishkhabour border crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi Kurdistan Border.
The protesters carried signs saying "Save the children" stuck in Sinjar mountains after the extremist group ISIS took over their homes and properties in the town of Sinjar. The Protesters called on the United States and the European Union to create a safe zone and provide them with aid so that they can "live in peace".

Interview:

Oran Ali, Teacher / Yazidi Protester

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The Abandoned Yazidi Town of al-Shikhan
al-Shikhan, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Arshed
14 Aug 2014

August 14, 2014
al-Shikhan, Iraqi Kurdistan

As ISIS expands their area of control, residents of the small Yazidi town of al-Shikhan, north-east of Mosul, abandon their homes in fear of the radical Islamist group. Although ISIS has not yet reached the Kurdish controlled town, they have taken control over the neighboring towns of Qaraqoush, Telkeif and Bartella. Many residents believe that ISIS will soon attack their town, and so have chosen to leave. The video shows little or no people on the streets as almost all the residents have left to the safety of Dhuk and Erbil.

Interview:

Hussein Nermo, Former Yazidi Parliament Member

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Iranian Kurdish Fighters Celebrate Re...
Makhmour, Iraq
By Arshed
13 Aug 2014

August 13, 2014
Makhmour, Iraq

Iranian Kurdish fighters (PAK) celebrate after regaining control over the town of Makhmour, a Kurdish town 40km south of Erbil, that was taken by ISIS.
On August 11, the Kurdish Peshmerga (PKK) with the help of the PAK and US airstrikes launched an assault on ISIS strongholds, and succeeded in driving them out of the town.
The Kurdish fighters raised the Kurdish flag on municipal buildings that previously flew the flags of ISIS.

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Yazidis Escape Sinjar in Huge Numbers
Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan
By Arshed
13 Aug 2014

August 13, 2014
Zakho, Iraqi Kurdistan

More Yazidi refugees arrive at the Kurdish town of Zakho in the Dhuk province. They are escaping to safety after ISIS insurgents took over their hometown of Sinjar, at the beginning of August, kidnapping and killing many.
People of the Yazidi minority were forced to walk through the Sinjar mountains for five days, with little or no supplies, before reaching the Kurdish controlled town of al-Hasaka in Syria. Kurdish fighters gave the refugees a safe passage through the Fishkhabour border crossing, back into the Kurdish controlled Iraq. The Red Cross gave out supplies donated by the UK government, and local Kurdish authority.

Interviews:

Sound bite number 1: (Arabic), Khermesh Ali, Yazidi Refugee, 77 years old:

Yazidi Refugee, Khermesh Ali: Those people have no beliefs and no conscience.

Interviewer: who are they?

Yazidi Refugee, Khermesh Ali: Those ISIS people; all we want is to get rid of them.

Interviewer: were you in Sinjar, on the mountain?

Yazidi Refugee, Khermesh Ali: We went up the mountain, but because of the huge crowds, we were not able to keep going, and there is a distance between the two mountains, we went to another area and we have been there for five days, and now we are here and it is good.

Interviewer: how is the situation up there in Sinjar Mountain, is there food and water?

Yazidi Refugee, Khermesh Ali: There is only bread and we go get the water from the spring.

Interviewer: did many people stay in Sinjar?

Yazidi Refugee, Khermesh Ali: Only a few

Interviewer: how many approximately?

Yazidi Refugee, Khermesh Ali: Well I do not know, Sinjar is too big, thousands came here, and I think some stayed

We left there and the road is too long, it took us 11 hours of walking, from 4 till 2

Interviewer: what is you name and how old are you?

Yazidi Refugee: Khermesh Ali, in 77 years old.

Sound bite number 2: (Arabic), Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee

Interviewer: what caused you to leave Sinjar, what happened?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: ISIS attacked us

Interviewer: how did that happen, what time and how long did you stay on the mountain until you came here?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: We stayed on the mountain for ten days

Interviewer: how did the attack happen?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: In the morning, the night before, there were some conflicts, but the next morning they attacked us.

Interviewer: where did the conflicts happen?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: In the communities around Sinjar and inside Sinjar

Interviewer: and then you went up to the mountain?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Yes

Interviewer: how many days did you stay there?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: We stayed for ten days, almost eleven days, the first day we spent it walking up the mountain and then we spent ten days up there, and yesterday we left.

Interviewer: how did you manage to get food and water when you were up on the mountain?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: We almost died; there is nothing up there.

Interviewer: is this your whole family?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Yes this is my family and my sibling’s family

Interviewer: How was the situation for the children there?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Some of them died and we buried them.

Interviewer: did you burry them there?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: No we did not have time

Interviewer: you did not have time to bury them?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: No we did not, we just left them in the mountain, and we just covered them with blankets and left them there. This man’s daughter was 12 years old and we had to leave her before she died.

Interviewer: you left her before she was dead?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Yes she was breathing her last breath and we left her, she had paralysis, she was dying, we left the blanket on her and left

Interviewer: you walked for 12 hours?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Yes, and this little girl walked with us for 12 hours and did not complain

Interview: how did you go down the mountains, who lead the way?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Syrian and Kurds lead us to the way?

Interviewer: did they use cars or walking?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Walking, we walked in the mountains for 12 hours or more; we left at 6 am and kept walking till the sun went down. We rested for a bit and then people came and took us to Syria.

Interviewer: where are you now?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: We are in Dhuk, Kurdstan

Interviewer: what is the name of the area?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Well I am not sure, I think it is Zakho

Interviewer: did a lot of people die?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Yes I can say that thousands have died, many people died because of dehydration.

Interviewer: I mean on the mountain

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Yes on the mountain, many people died, mainly children and elderly

Interviewer: how many ISIS people died?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: I do not know

Interviewer: did they take women?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Yes they did, they took thousands of women

Interviewer: how do they take women?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: They kill the man and take his wife and daughters

Interviewer: what do they do to these women?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: They say they put them in prison, but nobody knows

Interviewer: are they building prisons?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: They take any building they want and they turn it into a prison, a party hall, a police station, they make them prisons belonging to ISIS.

This is the amount of water that we can distribute, before a person dies, we fill the cap with water and we give it to him and that is all we can do.

This boy’s twin sister died on the way because of dehydration

Interviewer: how old was she?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: She was 12 years old

Interviewer: they were distributing aid from planes, did you receive any?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Yes just a bit

Interviewer: who was distributing them, Iraqis or Americans?

Haje Khedr, Yazidi Refugee: Both but the ones from Iraqis were dropped from the planes without parachutes, so they all get ruined, but the one distributed by Americans were received fine, food and water.

Americans dropped the aid in barrel attached to parachutes; they even gave us cell phone chargers because we have no electricity here. This is a mobile charger that works using the solar power.

All we want is to charge our phones and have water.

Shot List:

Various shots of: cars and people crossing the bridge that connects Iraq and Syria.

Various shots of: aid distribution.

Various shots of: the bridge, the vehicles and refugees.

Various shots of Iraqi refugees eating.

Various shots of food aid distribution.

Various shots of refugees riding a bus.

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Yezidi Minority from Sinjar Joins Chr...
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
By mushtaq mohammed
12 Aug 2014

August 12, 2014
Erbil, Iraq

Some hundred refugees, belonging to the Yezidi minority, took refuge along with thousands of Christian refugees in the Saint Joseph Church in the Kurdish controlled area of Ankawa, northwest of Erbil, Iraq.
Yezidi residents of Sinjar, a town west of Mosul, were forced to flee their homes after ISIS militants took over the town at the beginning of August. They joined the thousands of Christian refugees from Qaraqosh, a Christian town near Mosul, who took shelter in the Saint Joseph Church, after ISIS militants took their city on August 7, 2014.

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Yazidi Refugees Walk To Syrian Border
Fishkhabour, Iraqi Kurdistan-Syria-Turkish Border
By rsoufi
12 Aug 2014

August 12, 2014
Fishkhabour Border Crossing, Kurdistan - Syrian

Thousands of Yazidi refugees fleeing the Sinjar mountain have arrived at the Fishkhabour crossing on the Iraqi Kurdistan-Syrian border. They were trapped on the mountain since the beginning of August after ISIS militants invaded their town of Sinjar.
The refugees said they traveled on foot for five days to reach the border. Some said that many Yazidis were kidnapped and killed by ISIS militants, and many children died on the mountain because they had no food or water.
Kurdish authorities will move the refugees to a camp in Dhouk.

Interviews:

  • Rasheed, Yezidi Refugee
  • Amer, Yezidi Refugee
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Peshmerga Forces Clash with ISIS to R...
Makhmour
By Arshed
11 Aug 2014

August 11, 2014
Makhmour, Iraq

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, alongside the PAK (Kurdish Iranian fighters), regain control over Makhmour, a Kurdish town 40km south of Erbil, that was taken by ISIS.
Video shows heavy clashes between the Peshmerga fighters and ISIS militants. With the help of US overnight airstrikes, Kurdish forces were able to drive out ISIS soldiers and raise the Kurdish flag on municipal buildings that previously flew the flags of ISIS.

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ISIS Forces Shops to Veil Mannequins ...
Mosul, Iraq
By TTM Contributor 18
02 Aug 2014

August 2, 2014
Mosul, Iraq

ISIS has forced clothing shop owners in the city of Mosul to veil the faces of mannequins, both female and male, as a “strict interpretation of Shariah law”.
The extremist group that declared Mosul as the “Capital of the Islamic State” considers statues or artwork depicting the human form as “forbidden".

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Tal Afar Refugees Arrive in Baghdad
Baghdad
By TTM Contributor 16
21 Jul 2014

Um Ali is a refugee from Tal Afar in northern Iraq. She fled to Sinjar to escape the mortar shells, raining down on her town. Um Ali along with other residents of Tal Afar fled to Erbil where they slept at the gate for five days, then on to Kirkuk, and Dyala, until they reached al-Nahrwan on Sunday. “The government did not help us”, she said, “We faced a difficult situation after leaving Tal Afar, we are 50 families and the inhabitants of al-Nahrwan are the only ones who helped us

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Iraqi Literary Heart Under Threat
Baghdad
By TTM Contributor 16
21 Jul 2014

Al-Mutanabi Street has been the literary heart of Baghdad for centuries. After ISIS took over swathes of northern Iraq, the street has seen a severe decline in business. Al-Mutanabi was once a meeting place for poets, writers, intellectuals and readers. The surge of buyers on Fridays allowed the booksellers to work only one day per week, but this old tradition has almost disappeared and book sales are down 90%. The volatile state of the region means that people no longer spend money on items that are not essential for survival, and books fall under this criteria.

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Tal Afar Refugees Arrive in Baghdad
By TTM Contributor 16
21 Jul 2014

July 20, 2014
Baghdad, Iraq

Refugee children from Tal Afar, arrive in Baghdad.

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Tal Afar Refugees Arrive in Baghdad
By TTM Contributor 16
21 Jul 2014

July 20, 2014
Baghdad, Iraq

Refugees from Tal Afar arrive at al-Nahrwan area, Baghdad.

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Tal Afar Refugees Arrive in Baghdad
By TTM Contributor 16
21 Jul 2014

July 20, 2014
Baghdad, Iraq

Refugee child from Tal Afar.

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Tal Afar Refugees Arrive in Baghdad
By TTM Contributor 16
21 Jul 2014

July 20, 2014
Baghdad, Iraq

Refugee child from Tal Afar.

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Tal Afar Refugees Arrive in Baghdad
By TTM Contributor 16
21 Jul 2014

July 20, 2014
Baghdad, Iraq

Refugees from Tal Afar arrive at al-Nahrwan area, Baghdad.

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Tal Afar Refugees Arrive in Baghdad
By TTM Contributor 16
21 Jul 2014

July 20, 2014
Baghdad, Iraq

Refugees from Tal Afar arrive at al-Nahrwan area, Baghdad.

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Tal Afar Refugees Arrive in Baghdad
By TTM Contributor 16
21 Jul 2014

July 20, 2014
Baghdad, Iraq

Refugees from Tal Afar arrive at al-Nahrwan area, Baghdad.

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Tal Afar Refugees Arrive in Baghdad
By TTM Contributor 16
21 Jul 2014

July 20, 2014
Baghdad, Iraq

A refugee child from Tal Afar on a vehicle.