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Stoicism and Sacrifice: Yazidi Men in Iraq Yield Seats on Rescue Chopper

It started as a supply run for a Kurdish army garrison, but it turned into a dramatic rescue mission faced with impossible choices.
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What started as a supply run for a Kurdish army garrison turned into a dramatic rescue mission. Refugees fleeing religious persecution clambered to get aboard an Iraqi army helicopter trying to land at Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. A pilot took more than 50 refugees aboard the chopper - which had a capacity of 15. The passengers were Yazidis, some of the tens of thousands trapped on Mount Sinjar by the Islamist militant group ISIS.

So many people rushed aboard the chopper on Monday that it was too heavy to take off. Five people had to get off — young men being the obvious choice. In a stoic move, one older man said goodbye to his family and climbed down from the chopper, back onto the mountaintop. ITV News correspondent John Irvine captured the dramatic and frantic scenes unfolding aboard the chopper.


- Erin McClam