What happened in Iraq over the weekend

Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community cross the Iraqi-Syrian border.(Ahmad al-Rubaye/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Iraq has a new prime minister.

Iraq's president has named deputy parliament speaker Haider al-Abadi as Nouri al-Maliki's replacement. Maliki, who served as head of the government for eight years, has resisted giving up his seat despite losing U.S. support.

 The United States launched airstrikes Friday and continued its air campaign through the weekend.

The military targeted key Islamic State positions over three days. The attacks helped Kurdish forces gain some momentum after they lost the Mosul dam and areas that were sanctuaries for Iraqi Christians.

Yazidis are fleeing the mountain that many had been stranded on for days after their cities and towns were seized by Sunni militants

Thousands of Yazidis fled Mount Sinjar from advancing Islamic State militants into Iraq's northern Kurdistan region on Sunday, following U.S. airstrikes. Thousands of others are still stranded on the mountain. (Rudaw)

The U.S. airstrikes reportedly allowed many members of the religious minority to flee. Thousands are still trapped on the mountain, "either because they are surrounded in their villages by militants with the Islamic State or are simply too weak to walk."

Kurdish forces were able to take back two towns from Sunni militants. 

The towns of Gweir and Makhmur were recaptured as the United States assisted the forces with airstrikes.


Related: Yazidis cross into Iraqi Kurdistan from Syria

Swati Sharma is a digital editor for World and National Security and previously worked at the Boston Globe.



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