Tens of thousands from Iraq's minority Yezidi community have fled their homes after Sunni militants captured their towns in the latest plan to expand their territory.
As Kurdish fighters struggled to hold back the onslaught of the Islamic State militants on Iraq's north, some 40,000 Yezidis, a minority religious sect, fled the northern towns of Sinjar and Zumar, said Jawhar Ali Begg, a spokesman for the community.
``Thousands of Yezidi people have been killed,'' he said. The militant group gave the Yezidis, who follow an ancient religion with links to Zoroastrianism, an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a tax or face death, Begg added.
Yezidis living in United States are asking for help from the U.S. government.Thousands are headed to WashingtonD.C. to rally.
Iraq native, Hatim Ido is living in Lincoln.He says, "We need urgent help from him (the president) right now and we think he's the only on that can help us."
A petition has been set up online urging the U.S. government to take action.