Yazidi refugees stranded for days atop Iraq's Mount Sinjar by jihadis from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are now swarming helicopters arriving with food and water. The plight of the refugees has propelled President Barack Obama to authorize humanitarian aid drops and airstrikes to protect them.
CNN journalist Ivan Watson was aboard one of the Iraqi air force helicopters as it delivered aid to and evacuated some Yezidis trapped on the mountain after they fled forces loyal to ISIL, also known as ISIS. According to Watson, a gunner went through "belts of ammo" while firing at militant targets during the flight.
Mark Phillips, a CNN photojournalist, captured dramatic video footage of the rescue of some Yazidis during an Iraqi military humanitarian airdrop.
Jonathan Rugman, a foreign affairs correspondent for U.K.'s Channel 4 News, had a similar experience while riding in one of the Iraqi military helicopters.
On Saturday, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense released footage of unidentified planes dropping aid to refugees in the Sinjar region.
On Sunday, Rugman tweeted photos of some of the refugees who managed to escape the mountaintop, along with their stories.
- Mount Sinjar