Mosul (Iraq), Oct 24 (IANS/EFE) Iraqi military helicopters Friday bombed positions of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group around Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, where about 3,000 Yazidis have taken refuge.
Luqman Khansuri, leader of the Sinjar Protection Force, told Efe news agency the bombings were aimed at easing the persecution by the jihadis of the Yazidis.
After the air raids, the Sinjar forces clashed with the Islamist fighters and killed 35 IS members, while others managed to escape, Khansuri reported.
Among the dead was Khairy Sheikh Khedr, one of the prominent leaders of the Sinjar forces.
Over the past few days, the IS has seized the towns of Hatin, Duhla and Burk in the Mount Sinjar area, as it took advantage of bad weather conditions which prevented aircraft of the US-led international coalition from flying over the region.
Mount Sinjar has been a sanctuary for the Yazidi minority since August when they fled the brutality of the IS jihadis who had seized the nearby city of Sinjar.
It is estimated that between 2,500 and 3,000 Yazidis have sought refuge on the mount to escape the brutality of the Sunni IS.
More than 500,000 Yazidis and other minorities have left northern Iraq since last June and several hundred have been murdered, according to estimates by the UN.
The Sunni IS considers Yazidis, Shia Muslims, Christians and other religious minorities as infidels.