Terrorism

4 Yazidi children freed from ISIS in Syria, Iraq

By Khalid al-Taie

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Two Yazidi girls, Dalia and Samar, were freed from the 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' by Iraqi forces in western Mosul on July 6th. [Photo courtesy of the Iraqi Ministry of Defence]

Iraq has recovered four Yazidi children who were kidnapped by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) over the past three years, Iraqi officials said Friday (July 7th).

"Two Yazidi children -- a 10-year old boy and a 16-year old girl -- have been freed from ISIS," the Office for Yazidi Abductee Affairs in Dohuk province said.

The two children were kidnapped by ISIS gunmen in northern Syria, office head Hussein Qaidi told Diyaruna.

"We received them today and will hand them over to their families," he said, but did not provide further details about the operation, citing the need for confidentiality to allow for the recovery of other Yazidi abductees.

"The two children were in a very bad condition, having spent about three years in terrorists' custody," he said.

They were frequently transferred with other women and children from one place to another as part of ISIS's human trafficking operations, Qaidi said.

The Office for Yazidi Abductee Affairs has freed 250 Yazidi women and children from ISIS in Mosul since the launch of the liberation offensive on October 17th, 2016.

"During the same period, Iraqi forces rescued another 20 women and children from ISIS in different areas of Mosul," Qaidi said, adding that his office received them from Iraqi forces and handed them over to their families.

2 girls freed in western Mosul

The Iraqi Ministry of Defence on Thursday (July 6th) said that the General Intelligence and Security Directorate in Ninawa has freed two Yazidi girls in western Mosul and reunited them with their families.

"The liberation of the two girls, Dalia and Samar, followed more than two months of work with sources in Mosul," the ministry said in a statement, stressing that its efforts would continue to free those kidnapped by ISIS.

"Our data indicate that the number of Yazidis who have been freed since October 2014 has reached 3,050," Qaidi said.

However, around 3,300 more -- mostly women and children -- remain kidnapped, he said.

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