Militants of Islamic State (IS) stand just before explosion of an air strike on Tilsehir hill near the Turkish border Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP
On the barren wastes of Mount Sinjar, the Yazidis are once more surrounded and fighting for their lives.
“We saw Isil, there are daily clashes with Isis. Today and yesterday there was heavy fighting,” said one stranded Yazidi man, Dre’i Shamo, last week. “The situation is very tragic and critical.”
Further south, the advance of the jihadists of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on Baghdad continues, slower than before but still with no sign of a reversal of fortune. Another district fell last week, after a major military base the week before, while scores more innocent civilians have died in a rise in bombings in the city itself.
The jihadists have also reached Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province and the last major city in western Iraq not in Isis’s hands.
The world’s attention has been focused on the medium-sized Kurdish town of Kobane, on the Syria-Turkey border, whose accessibility has provided countless opportunities for telegenic news coverage of American air strikes, which have multiplied in size and number. But Kobane is a secondary focus of the war that has been waging in Syria for more than three years; and that war is itself supposed to be secondary in strategic heft for America and its allies, including Britain…