Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Freed Yezidis from Mosul renew hope for those still missing

Freed Yezidis from Mosul renew hope for those still missing

9/1/2017

ERBIL Kurdistan Region –The recent freedom of five Yezidi women and children in the city of Mosul has renewed hope or many families whose loved ones were abducted by ISIS three years ago and have been missing since.

Between Dec.29 and Jan. 5, three Yezidi women and two children walked to their freedom towards the Iraqi army among civilians fleeing the battle between ISIS militants and government troops.

“Rescuing these five persons has brought us hope,” says Ilias Hassan, 13 members of whose family were abducted by ISIS in the summer 2014.

Hassan said he had information that until six months ago some of his family members were still in Mosul.

“Since then, we do not know about their fate and whereabouts,” he added.

He still remains hopeful however that “they are still inside Mosul,” and that they might walk to their freedom or be rescued by the army as the operation to retake the city from ISIS is pushing on in its second stage.

“In the beginning we were very optimistic that our family members would be freed by this operation,” he said, glued to the TV screen for the news of his family. “But after two months none of them has been freed and that is making us desperate.”

One of the five escapees told Rudaw upon arrival at a Peshmerga checkpoint that she was abducted along with her sister and 11 other family members and that she was the only one free so far.

Parwin, another escapee said she was freed in return for $20, 000.

“We will never forget their good deed,” said Parwin’s father of the men who freed his daughter.

“We kneel down before them and will respect them even more than before,” her father said of his daughter and Yezidi women who returned from ISIS captivity. “She is our daughter. She is from our flesh and blood.”

Kurdish government officials claim to have rescued 2,669 Yezidi captives in the last two years and that 3,700 are still missing.

Darman Khatari, an official from the office of the kidnapped Yezidis told Rudaw: “We continue our efforts as long as there is a single Yezidi Kurd under ISIS,” he insisted.

In mid-October, the US special envoy for the war against ISIS, Brett McGurk, had said in a press briefing that they “think most of the Yezidi slaves who were taken by Daesh two years ago, the vast majority of them, are in Mosul.”  

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