A refugee woman from the minority Yazidi sect, who fled the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, sits with a child inside a tent at Nowruz refugee camp in Qamishli, northeastern Syria August 17, 2014.REUTERS/Rodi Said
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When ISIS militants stormed into a northern Iraqi village and ordered everyone to convert to Islam or die only one person refused.The militants, who have seized much of northern Iraq since arriving from Syria in June, wasted no time after the village's leader, or sheikh, stood up for his ancient Yazidi faith. Khalof Khodede, an unemployed father of three who escaped with his life, recalled how 80 men in the village of Kocho were killed and all the women and girls were kidnapped. After trying to stay motionless for about an hour, Khodede saw Kurdish fighters in the distance, peering through gaps in the bodies.They were not Iraqi Kurdish fighters who had held towns and villages in the north for years after the fall of Saddam in 2003 . The Kurdish fighters had come from Syria after hearing that fellow Kurds were being routed in neighboring Iraq by ISIS militants who seized several towns, a fifth oil field, as well as the country's dam for some time in recent weeks.
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