Are Iraq’s Turkmen the New Yazidis?

Another Minority in ISIS Sights

After an hysterical overstatement of the Yazidi refugee crisis at Mount Sinjar, the Pentagon has been very public about looking for a new humanitarian pretext on which to base a major escalation of the Iraq War.

They may have found a new one with the Shi’ite Turkmen minority, along the region adjacent to Iraqi Kurdistan. ISIS has been focusing on taking those Turkmen villages, leading many of them to flee.

The narrative is pretty similar, with the Turkmen fleeing into the mountains to try to escape the fighting, and once again “trapped,” fueling calls for a “rescue operation.”

The Yazidi “rescue” provides a template for how that is likely to go, with the Pentagon using it as an excuse to dramatically pick up the pace of airstrikes not even tangentially related to the situation, while offering some token air drops to keep the increasingly aggressive war couched, at least nominally, as a “humanitarian intervention.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of