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Iraq - Sharia, Yazidi refugees living in unfinished houses, tents, on the road. Each of them has lost family members (were killed by ISIS) and many of them were kidnapped. The living situation is catastrophic. Winter is coming, without blankets, warm clothes. Here, the refugees are housed in a Structural work of a school. About 1,000 people live here in confined spaces. A mother could flee from the IS areas with her children.
Iraq, Zacho - most Yezidi refugees live in Zacho who have fled from the Shingal region that was easily attacked by  ISIS troops. They live in destroyed houses, unfinished steel skeletons of skyscrapers. In the high-rise estate around 8000 refugees live in a confined space without food with bacteria-contaminated drinking water. Feces are everywhere.The wind blows through the floors. Many Yazidi refugees have lost everything. Many of them were so desperate that they thought about suicide.
Iraq, Sherfedin - The last house at the frontline to the IS fighters. Heavy fighting take place here every day. Sherfedin is the only access location to the Sinjar Mountains, , so there is the heaviest fighting. Guarded it is only by 200 Yezidi fighter, with poorly equipped weapons.
Iraq, Sherfedin: Sheikh Ismail leads a fire ritual in the sanctuary, every Wednesday evening. The Yazidis can make a wish and need to tie a knot in a handkerchief and kiss the altar. Religion is in these times the only thing that keeps people alive.
Iraq, Zacho - most Yezidi refugees live in Zacho who have fled from the Shingal region that was easily attacked by  ISIS troops. They live in destroyed houses, unfinished steel skeletons of skyscrapers. In the high-rise estate around 8000 refugees live in a confined space without food with bacteria-contaminated drinking water. Feces are everywhere.The wind blows through the floors. Many Yazidi refugees have lost everything. In one room, a child was sleeping on a mattrass, the gun of his fahter right beside him.
Iraq, Sherfedin - Yezidi refugees who have fled into the Sinjar Mountains, at the Syrian-Iraqi border,  prior to the IS terrorist militia. The mountain was surrounded four months by the IS, without land access. The children suffer from malnutrition, diseases and they have worms. They live in tents built from stones and covers. None of the children laughed, they had no more energy. Too much suffering they have experienced in recent months.
Iraq, Babire - In the front area in and around Babire the Peshmerga have conquered the territory of the ISIS zurük. It is Jersiden area. ISIS hate Yazidis, they kill them by the thousands. Here they have blown up all the houses of the Yazidis.
Iraq - Sharia, Yazidi refugees (Internally Displaced People) living in unfinished houses, tents, on the road. Each of them has lost family members (were killed by ISIS) and many of them were kidnapped. The living situation is catastrophic. Winter is coming, without blankets, warm clothes. Here, the refugees are housed in a Structural work of a school. About 1,000 people live here in confined spaces.
Iraq - Sharia, Yazidi refugees (Internally Displaced People) living in unfinished houses, tents, on the road. Each of them has lost family members (were killed by ISIS) and many of them were kidnapped. The living situation is catastrophic. Winter is coming, without blankets, warm clothes. Here, the refugees are housed in a Structural work of a school. About 1,000 people live here in confined spaces. Portrait of an old Yazidi sheikh.
Iraq, themselves from Sherfedin: Yazidi refugees have retreated themselves from armed conflicts in the Sinjar Mountains for thousands of years. But as dangerous as during this time it has never been. Four months they are surrounded, and get very sporadic humanitarian support, if any. The children suffer from malnutrition, diseases and they have worms. They live in tents built from stones and covers.
Iraq, Rabia - The City Rabia is located on the Iraqi-Syrian border. The ISIS have taken the city. A few days ago it was taken back by the Peshmerga. The ISIS have holed up in the hospital last. The Peshmerga were the terrorists out of the city to hunt and they could kill many of them. The corpses were burned on the spot.
Iraq - Zakho, Yazidi refugees from Shingal / Sinjar Mountains, at the Syrian-Iraqi border,  live in Zakho, everywhere where the eye drops. In unfinished incomplete houses, in camps, on streets. They have little to eat, no winter clothing, no medication. Yezidi women bake traditional bread. Refugees wait for the uncertain.A Yezidi family built a tent out plan, in a house skeleton. Some family members are sick, but there is no doctor where they may go.
Iraq - Sharia, Yazidi refugees (Internally Displaced People) living in unfinished houses, tents, on the road. Each of them has lost family members (were killed by ISIS) and many of them were kidnapped. The living situation is catastrophic. Winter is coming, without blankets, warm clothes. Here, the refugees are housed in a Structural work of a school. About 1,000 people live here in confined spaces.
Iraq, Rabia - The City Rabia is located on the Iraqi-Syrian border. The ISIS have taken the city. A few days ago it was taken back by the Peshmerga. The ISIS have holed up in the hospital last. The Peshmerga were the terrorists out of the city to hunt and they could kill many of them. The corpses were burned on the spot. An old Peshmerga fighter calls his family after battle.
Iraq - Zakho, Yazidi refugees from Shingal / Sinjar Mountains, at the Syrian-Iraqi border,  live in Zakho, everywhere where the eye drops. In unfinished incomplete houses, in camps, on streets. They have little to eat, no winter clothing, no medication. Yezidi women bake traditional bread.
Iraq, Duhok - In Dohuk is a refugee camp of Yezidi refugees who have fled the Sinjar Mountains, at the Syrian-Iraqi border,  prior to the IS terrorist militia. Tens of thousands living in this camp, led by international aid organizations. These refugees ave happiness in had. The supply in the camp is ensured. Not many were lucky enough to get a place in a camp. Even in bad times, children enjoy to play.
Iraq, Duhok - In Dohuk is a refugee camp of Yezidi refugees who have fled the Sinjar Mountains, at the Syrian-Iraqi border,  prior to the IS terrorist militia. Tens of thousands living in this camp, led by international aid organizations. These refugees ave happiness in had. The supply in the camp is ensured. Not many were lucky enough to get a place in a camp. A father shows his two daughters. Both of them has a harelip. But there is not doctor available for a surgery,
Iraq, Sherfedin - Yezidi refugees who have fled into the Sinjar Mountains, at the Syrian-Iraqi border,  prior to the IS terrorist militia. The mountain was surrounded four months by the IS, without land access. Portrait of an old Yazidi.
Iraq - Zakho, Yazidi refugees from Shingal / Sinjar Mountains, at the Syrian-Iraqi border,  live in Zakho, everywhere where the eye drops. In unfinished incomplete houses, in camps, on streets. They have little to eat, no winter clothing, no medication.
Iraq - Sinjar Mountains. If the weather is sunny and stable helicopter start of the Iraqi army with supplies for the Sinjar mountains. To ensure a little humanitarian aid. The mountain was surrounded four months by the IS terrorist militia. Every day there was heavy fighting between Kurdish PKK fighters, fighters Yezidi, Pescherga and the IS. Several times the helicopters were shot down.
Iraq, Sherfedin - The last house at the frontline to the IS fighters. Heavy fighting take place here every day. Sherfedin is the only access location to the Sinjar Mountains, , so there is the heaviest fighting. Guarded it is only by 200 Yezidi fighter, with poorly equipped weapons. The Yezidi fighter plan a strategy for an offensive at night.
Iraq, Sherfedin - Yezidi refugees who have fled into the Sinjar Mountains, at the Syrian-Iraqi border,  prior to the IS terrorist militia. The mountain was surrounded four months by the IS, without land access.
Iraq - Sinjar Mountains, Kurdish fighters to wait on the Sinjar Mountains to be picked up by a helicopter. The beleaguered refugees do not have this chance.
Iraq, Korsi - Sinjar Mountains: A PKK/YPG fighters posing against a wall in the village Korsi, behind him, he dashes scratched into the wall for every killed IS-fighter.
Iraq, Korsi - Sinjar Mountains:  PKK/YPG ideological training for female fighters.
Iraq Sinjar Mountains. The humanitarian situation of the refugees is very bad. Children build model tents from garbage, they have no toys.
Iraq, Chermera: In the evening the Yazidis look from the mountain to the city Sinune, taken by the IS. Down they have electricity, running water, enough food. The luxury they do not have, the beleaguered refugees in the Sinjar Mountains.

The Yazidis are a mostly Kurdish-speaking people who adhere to Yazidism, an ancient religion that melds various theological and mythological religious traditions. Throughout their long history, Yazidis have been singled out repeatedly for persecution. Under Islamic law as observed by ISIS, Yazidis are officially given the choice to convert to Sunni Islam or die.

In August 2014, Yazidis were targeted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in its campaign to “purify” Iraq and neighboring countries of non-Islamic influences, causing 30,000–50,000 Yazidis to flee into the mountains. Thousands of men and boys were shot and beheaded, women abducted and sold at auction as sex slaves. In extremely adverse circumstances, thousands of Yazidis managed to flee towards the Sinjar Mountains, where they remained trapped for four months, until Kurdish Peshmerga managed to open a land corridor, breaking the siege.

With this series of images, I would like to draw attention to the desperate situation of the Yazidis, who are the main victims of this ongoing conflict. I hope to convey a sense of the despair of the encircled, the struggle for survival, the war with all its horrors, and the role of religion.

Iraq, 2014

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