ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
In Iraq, ISIS has suffered a setback. Kurdish forces, including members of the Yazidi religious minority, retook the town of Sinjar over the weekend. It had been held by the militants for over a year. NPR's Alice Fordham went to Sinjar and found that with ISIS gone, returning Yazidis are seeking revenge.
ALICE FORDHAM, BYLINE: The mood is euphoric in the villages around Sinjar. The forces who pushed back ISIS shoot in the air and let cheering kids ride along with them. But when we drive into the city of Sinjar itself, we see dozens of trucks piled high with fridges, sofas and TVs. We ask one of the drivers, named Dakheel Suleiman, what's happening.
DAKHEEL SULEIMAN: (Foreign language spoken).
FORDHAM: He says, "ISIS took our homes, took all of our possessions." Even as booby-trapped houses are still exploding here and civilians aren't allowed back in, the looting is rampant.
SULEIMAN: (Foreign language spoken).
FORDHAM: Suleiman's a Yazidi soldier. He says many Muslims stayed in Sinjar and joined ISIS. Now they've fled, he says he has the right to take their possessions from their homes. ISIS displaced tens of thousands of Yazidis and is believed to have killed, captured and raped thousands more. The anger and pain among Yazidis is intense. One man, Bashouq Ali, stops me by the side of the road.
BASHOUQ ALI: (Foreign language spoken).
FORDHAM: He tells me 93 members of his extended family are still held by ISIS.
FORDHAM: And he directs his anger at the Arab Muslims from his area who he says collaborated with the extremists. Not one of the Yazidis I speak to distinguishes between Arab Muslim families who stayed in ISIS-held areas and ISIS fighters. Some Arab leaders fear widespread revenge killing and looting. South of Sinjar, there's a string of ISIS-held villages mainly populated by Arab Muslims. I ask a Yazidi commander named Badr al-Hajji if there are civilians there.
BADR AL-HAJJI: (Foreign language spoken).
FORDHAM: He says yes, and they're all ISIS. And then he tells me when his forces move on those villages, he's sure all the Arabs will flee because if they don't, it will be bad for them. Alice Fordham, NPR News, Sinjar.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.