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‘The people in Ezidi camp are afraid’: The real toll of the Syrian and Turkey war

By 9News Australia

 In Iraqi Kurdistan, as you approach the border with Syria, the desert landscape gives way to enormous camps which are home to tens of thousands of Ezidi people.
The Ezidis “Yazidis” are victims of Islamic State, driven from their homes near the Sinjar Mountains in northern Iraq in 2014.
The terror group persecuted them, raped and abducted their women and children, and massacred some 5000 of their people.
Enormous camps are home to tens of thousands of Ezidi people. (9News)
Many were resettled in large fenced off communities in the Duhok region, and today we are visiting the Sharia camp to talk to these refugees about the re-emerging threat of ISIS in the region, sparked by the Turkey and Syrian war raging across the border.
We drive past endless dusty rows of small tents, and meet a bunch of cheerful Ezidi “Yazidi” children heading off to school. Conditions are grim, but they’re smiling.
Each area has very basic squat toilets, and there are no kitchens, because too many tents burn down. People here take pride in what little they have.
One man, Khaled Qassim, invites 9News into his tiny tent for tea. Khaled has been living here in the same tent with his mother and four sisters for five years, since what he calls “the genocide.”
“Each area has very basic squat toilets, and there are no kitchens, because too many tents burn down. People here take pride in what little they have,” Adams reports. (9News)
“It’s very hard for us,” he said.
“Six people in one tent, and supplies are not good, it takes a toll on our minds.”
We get chatting about the situation across the border and Khaled is noticeably affected.
“It brings back all the thoughts about the genocide, that time… this is the one thing we are afraid of you know, all the people here are afraid that another war will come here.”
Governing authorities in this region are afraid too.
The threat of an Islamic State comeback has driven the Kurdish Peshmerga – military forces controlling the autonomous region of Kurdistan – to unite with the Iraqi Security Force.
The forces worked together from 2009-2014 in disputed territory to eradicate the terror group, known here as Daesh.
Amelia Adams reports from Dohuk, in Northern Iraq. (9News)
And now that same cooperation may be crucial, as ISIS militants escape from Kurdish-guarded prisons in northern Syria, potentially re-awakening and re-grouping with sleeper cells in Iraq.
The Kurdish authorities face another problem too; a fresh influx of refugees fleeing their homes in northern Syria.
At least 200 people have crossed the border in the past 48 hours, smuggled across to the relative safety of Kurdish governance.
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