Nation & world briefs, Aug. 13
Fighters create safe passage for Yazidis
In a dusty camp, Iraqi refugees have new heroes: Syrian Kurdish fighters who battled militants to carve out an escape route for tens of thousands trapped on a mountaintop.
While the U.S. and Iraqi militaries struggle to aid the starving members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority with supply drops from the air, the Syrian Kurds took it upon themselves to rescue them. The move underlined how they – like Iraqi Kurds – are using the region’s conflicts to establish their own rule.
For the past few days, fighters have been rescuing Yazidis from the mountain, transporting them into Syrian territory to give them first aid, food and water, and returning some to Iraq via a pontoon bridge.
The Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking minority who follow an ancient Mesopotamian faith, started to flee to the Sinjar mountain chain Aug. 2, when militants from the extremist Islamic State group took over their nearby villages.
Israel, Hamas press ahead on truce talks
Israeli and Hamas negotiators huddled for a second day of Egyptian-mediated talks yesterday, seeking a formula for an extended cease-fire meant to end a monthlong war and bring relief to the embattled Gaza Strip.
With the talks continuing well into the evening, it was unclear whether the two enemies had made any progress as a temporary truce expires at midnight today.
The negotiations took place after a three-day truce brokered by Egypt took effect Monday. A similar truce collapsed last Friday after Gaza militants quickly resumed rocket fire with its expiration.