Posted on May 26, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Yazidis
Kurdish Yazidi women. Photo: AFP
DUHOK, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— Scores of Kurdish Yazidi women and children are now in Iraq’s Fallujah under Islamic State captivity, and they need protection as the Fallujah operation continues, warns a Kurdish official.
Hussein Kuro, Head of the Directorate of Yazidi Abductees Affairs in Dohuk province of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, said that 150 to 200 Yazidi women and children are reportedly in Fallujah now under a potential threat of being used as human shield.
Kuro said they have talked to the Iraqi army officials and Shi’ite militia Hashd al-Shaabi to protect the Yazidi captives along other civilians while advancing into the city.
More than 5,000 Yazidi women and children were taken captive in August 2014 when the IS insurgents overrun the city of Sinjar in northern Iraq. Many others were killed by the terrorist group, or forced to escape their homes at the time.
The Kurdish official also demanded from the Iraqi government to immediately send the Yazidis back to Kurdistan Region when they liberate the city.
The Iraqi army, the Shi’ite militias and some Sunni tribal forces have launched a joint operation to liberate Fallujah from IS. The city was seized by the extremist group in early 2014.
The United Nations and other international organizations have voiced concerns over the operation, warning that IS is using civilians in the city as human shields to ward off the government’s offensives.
Islamic State group has captured most parts of the Yazidi Sinjar (Shingal) district in northwest Iraq on August 3, 2014 which led thousands of Kurdish families to flee to Mount Sinjar, where they were trapped in it and suffered from significant lack of water and food, killing and abduction of thousands of Yazidis as well as rape and captivity of thousands of women.
Those who stay behind are subjected to brutal, genocidal acts: thousands killed, hundreds buried alive, and countless acts of rape, kidnapping and enslavement are perpetuated against Yazidi women. To add insult to injury, IS fighters ransack and destroy ancient Yazidi holy sites.
According to Human Rights organizations, thousands of Yazidi Kurdish women and girls have been forced to marry or been sold into sexual slavery by the IS jihadists.
According to the United Nations Islamic State enslaved an estimated 7,000 women and girls in 2014, mainly the Kurdish Yazidi women and children, and is still holding 3,500 as slaves.
In March 2016 Sinjar’s mayor said that dozens of the Kurdish Yazidi girls who were kidnapped by Islamic State militants in August 2014, have been relocated to other countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Chechnya.