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CNN Reporter on Harrowing Iraqi Rescue Mission: ‘Never Seen a Situation This Desperate’

CNN reporter Ivan Watson accompanied an Iraqi military helicopter crew as it conducted an improvised rescue mission to secure as many trapped Yazidis as they could Monday. Tens of thousands of the religious group have been stuck on a mountain in northern Iraq, surrounded by Islamic militants ISIS; Watson’s flight was only able to evacuate about sixty.

“I’ve been doing this job for more than ten years, I have never seen a situation as desperate as this, as emotionally charged as this, and I’ve never seen a rescue effort as ad hoc and as improvised as this,” Watson said. “We were all crying on our way back from here.”

“It’s incredible to think that a week into this crisis you’re still having this kind of ad hoc evacuation process, where a couple of rickety Iraqi air force helicopters are blowing in, picking up a handful of people in these really chaotic circumstances, and then taking off and doing it again, and risking enemy gunfire while making that journey,” Watson said. “It’s incredible to think in this day and age that that is one of the only ways to evacuate civilians.”

Watch the clip below, via CNN:

[h/t CNN]

[Image via screengrab]

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