Twelve Ezidis freed from IS captivity reunited with loved ones

February 11, 2019 at 11:17 am

Ninewa- Ezidi girl freed from IS captivity reunited with her brother, February 9, 2019 Photo: KirkukNow

KirkukNow- Ninewa

After spending four horrible years in captivity, 12 Ezidis who were kidnapped by Islamic State militants in 2014 along with thousands others of their community have been reunited with their loved ones in Shingal (Sinjar).

The survivors, (5 women and 7 children), were rescued by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) a few months ago, but were stranded in Syria due to the closure of the border crossing point between Shingal and the Syrian town of Qamishli.

Wadha Abbas, 15, one of the Ezidi survivors said she was abducted along with three of her sisters in 2014, while her father and brothers managed to escape. “We were taken to Mosul, then to Syria. We were sold several times there as sex slaves”, she said.

Wadha’s suffering continued until she was freed during a military operation by the Syrian Democratic Forces. The rescued Ezidis had to stay at a shelter run by the autonomous administration in northern Syria, as the crossing point between Sinjar and Qamishli was closed by Iraqi authorities in December 2018.

Ninewa- Twelve Ezidis return to their hometown Shingal after surviving IS captivity in Syria, February 9, 2019 Photo: KirkukNow

The Islamic State group controlled Ninewa’s predominantly Ezidi district of Shingal in August 2014. An estimated 6,417 Ezidis were kidnapped by the group, half of them were women.

According to KRG figures, as many as 3,343 Ezidis, including women and children, have been freed; yet the fate of more than 3,000 others remains unknown.

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