Iraqi officials told U.S. media today that hundreds of women from the displaced Yazidi community have been captured by Sunni militants, in a crime reminiscent of Boko Haram's mass abductions in Nigeria. The spokesman for Iraq's Human Rights Ministry said the women, all below the age of 35, were being held in schools in the city of Mosul, and that the military fighters were likely planning to sell into slavery or forced marriages. A U.S. official confirmed the report to the Associated Press.
Around 50,000 members of the Yazidi minority have fled the area around Sinjar in the northern provinces of Iraq after ISIL advanced on their communities in recent weeks. The advancement of ISIL's forces prompted the United States to launch an humanitarian and military offensive on Friday, that included airstrikes on ISIL artillery and airdrops of food and supplies to stranded Yazidi people.