photo: Eddy van Wessel


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Yazidis demand Iraq actively search for their missing persons

"Islamic State" is fighting its endgame with Yazidis waiting anxiously. Angered by Iraqi government silence following reports that IS killed 50 of their women, they are pushing for real action to find 3,000 of their own.

Suaad Daoud (DW/J. Neurink)
Judit Neurink, Zakho
After more than four and a half years as prisoners of the Islamic terror group "Islamic State," 21 Iraqi Yazidis, most of them children, were recently reunited with their families in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Only a small number of Yazidis have been able to escape from Baghouz, the final holdout of IS.

Of the more than 6,000 members of the religious minority that IS kidnapped in Iraq in 2014, intending to turn the women into sex slaves and the boys into fighters, some 3,000 women, children and men are still missing. And while the exact number of Yazidis who have got out of Baghouz is not known, it is not more than a few dozen.

One of them is Suaad Daoud, 21, who last month left the Syrian enclave with the IS family she served and has now been reunited with surviving relatives in a Yazidi camp in Kurdistan. Talking in a quiet restaurant near the Iraqi Kurdish border city of Zakho, though distracted at times, she appears to have survived the atrocities she was subjected to relatively well.

She knows that many Yazidi women and children are still with IS families since fleeing Baghouz but not coming forward. "They are scared," she says. When leaving the village, she disobeyed her captors and gave her real Yazidi name to the Syrian Kurdish forces of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who received them. "They told us we would be killed if we did," she says.

Read the whole story here

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