A total of 11 Ezidis have been freed from IS captivity since the start of this year

January 14, 2019 at 10:05 am

Duhok- An Ezidi woman reunited with one of her grand-daughters who spent 3 years in IS captivity, 22-05-2017 Photo: KirkukNow

Ammar Aziz- Ninewa

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s office tasked with rescuing Ezidi abductees declared that 11 Ezidis have been freed from Islamic State (IS) captivity since the start of 2019, reaffirming a shift in their rescue plans.

Hussein Qaidi, head of the office, speaking exclusively to (KirkukNow) said, “Until January 12th of this year we freed 4 Ezidi captives, and today (January 13th) we were able to rescue two more families comprised of 7 members. We only released the name of one of them, while the names of the rest remain confidential for matters concerning the safety of their relatives who are still in captivity.”

On Saturday, January 12th, the KRG office for rescuing Ezidi abductees announced the release of an Ezidi girl called (Ekhlas Sabir), who is from Shingal (Sinjar)’s Kojo village. She had been in IS captivity in a Syrian city.

Also on Sunday, January 13th, the office stated that 7 more Ezidis have been rescued.

“According to the office’s instructions the names of those freed would be published on our Facebook page, except for some cases in which the safety of other abductees might be jeopardized”, said Qaidi.

Duhok- An Ezidi girl reunited with her relatives, 07-11-2017 Photo: KRG Office for Rescuing Ezidi abductees

According to KRG figures, as many as 3,343 Ezidis, including women and children, have been freed since the Islamic State’s attack on the predominantly Ezidi town of Shingal in 2014; yet the fate of more than 3,000 others remains unknown.

Toward the end of 2018, relatives of Ezidi abductees expressed concern regarding what they called “the slow-paced process of freeing Ezidis; however Hussein Qaidi emphasized that “the process is underway, but the office’s plans have changed.”

 “We have set up a new plan for 2019. We adapt our plans according to the time and the place, and it certainly differs from its predecessors because IS militants’ strongholds have changed”, he said without further elaborating.

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