Pentagon Backs Down on Plan to Rescue Iraqi Yazidis

Carrie Dedrick | Updated: Aug 14, 2014

Pentagon Backs Down on Plan to Rescue Iraqi Yazidis

The Pentagon has said that the United States will probably not go through with its plan to rescue the Iraqi Yazidi people who have fled the Islamic State and are trapped atop Mt. Sinjar. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said that the shift in plans is occurring because the situation of the Yazidi people is not as horrific as previously believed. 

"There are far fewer Yazidis on Mt Sinjar than previously feared, in part because of the success of humanitarian air drops, air strikes on ISIL targets, the efforts of the Peshmerga and the ability of thousands of Yazidis to evacuate from the mountain each night over the last several days,” Kirby said. 

"The Yazidis who remain are in better condition than previously believed and continue to have access to the food and water that we have dropped. Based on this assessment the interagency has determined that an evacuation mission is far less likely."

Officials previously thought that tens of thousands were stranded on Mt. Sinjar, but the number is “now in the low thousands,” said Brett McGurk, secretary of state deputy assistant. 

The United States have provided humanitarian aid to Yazidi people through dropping food and water. The Department of Defense now says that while a mass evacuation is not the immediate plan, the U.S. will “continue to provide humanitarian assistance as needed.”

Publication date: August 14, 2014

Pentagon Backs Down on Plan to Rescue Iraqi Yazidis