LINCOLN, Neb.-- When 80 Lincoln Yazidis (also spelled Yezidis) took their efforts to Washington D.C. last week, they left hoping the United States government would intervene in the crisis at the Iraq-Syria border. Most of them returned home this weekend with a sense of accomplishment.
After a number of meetings with state department officials and presidential advisers, followed by protests at the White House, the Obama Administration authorized airstrikes and humanitarian airdrops.
"We cannot stop here," said Laila Khoudeida. "These people still need our help."
Khoudeida, a refugee from a similar crisis 14 years ago, said she's thankful for everything the U.S. is doing, but that there's still many people who need help from terrorist control.
"I think it was a huge step to rescue those trapped in the mountains, many of them are not in immediate danger anymore," said Khoudeida. "Although they are homeless and they still need shelters, many of them have lost their family members, many of them have lost there children, and many of them are psychologically damaged."
While thousands have been rescued, an upwards of 150,000 Yazidi Kurds remain trapped on Sinjar Mountain, having fled after Islamic State militants seized the town of Sinjar on August 2. Khoudeida says many of them are being killed because of their religion, and women are being sold into slavery for sexual purposes.
Local reports say that more than 60 people of the Yazidis faith have died on the mountain a result of dehydration and starvation.
The airstrikes are aimed at militants of the Islamic State in Northern Iraq. Airdrops are providing food and water to members of the religious minority Yazidis.
Several Yazidis remain in the Washington D.C. to continue meeting with government officials. President Obama says this will be a long-term project.