Two years after militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) kidnapped over 6,000 Yezidis from their towns and villages in the Shingal region, the chance to get them back is diminishing fast, says Yezidi activist and medical doctor Mirza Dinnayi. In the past two years around 3,000 people were rescued from the extremist group, but recently the number has declined. Some of the captives are so damaged and indoctrinated that they no longer think escape is possible, while rescuing missions in general have become too difficult and too expensive for many families to afford. Dinnayi who has helped many Yezidi victims reach Germany for treatment, says that as it becomes almost impossible to rescue more captives, his focus is on getting former ISIS victims, especially women and young girls out of refugee camps to Europe where they could recover and start a normal life again.
Rudaw: How many people are still captive in ISIS (Daesh) territories? Both 3,200 and 3,700 figures have been mentioned?
The correct figure is about 3,700 and the difference between the figures is the men, the rest are women and children.
What should be done to get them out?
I am afraid it is too late. I think most of the men could be dead. When
in April 2015 we had the option to rescue 3,500 of them from Talafar,
neither the Iraqis, Kurdish nor the allied forces did anything even
though they knew their situation there. There was a possibility to make a
quick attack because the distance with the Peshmerga troops was no more
than ten kilometers. You could release them within days. I do not know
why they did not do anything. ISIS, after this, divided all the people.
We do not know what happened to the 500 men since then. There were some
reports that they were killed. And ISIS separated the women from the
children and distributed the women all over their territories. Now it is
very difficult to get them back.