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Threatened Yazidi interpreters in Iraq say Afghan evacuation a wake-up call

Former Iraqi interpreters already hunted because of their faith say the rush to rescue wartime allies from Taliban-run Afghanistan should serve as a cautionary tale.
Iraqi Yazidi children ride bicycles as elderly women sit on a ramp in the town of Sheikhan, some 50km northeast of Mosul, on July 15, 2021.

After the hurried evacuation from Afghanistan left behind countless at-risk allies, former Yazidi interpreters who worked with the US military in Iraq are begging for special visas they say are needed to escape retribution in their home country. 

Seven years after the Islamic State rampage on the Yazidi ancestral homeland of Sinjar, the radical ideology that gave rise to the bloody massacre endures. Even after IS’ territorial defeat, the Yazidis, a mostly Kurdish-speaking minority group that practices an ancient monotheistic religion, say they remain highly vulnerable to extremists who view them as devil worshippers. 

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