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  • Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, who fled the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, march in a demonstration at the Iraqi-Turkish border.

    Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, who fled the violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, march in a demonstration at the Iraqi-Turkish border. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 October 2017
Opinion

Yazidis that had been kidnapped by the Islamic State group criticized the U.S.-led coalition for doing nothing to assist their liberation from captivity. 

In an interview with the Russian news agency Sputnik, Yazidis living in the Dohuk refugee camp in northern Iraq told reporters about their horrific experiences as captives living under the oppression of the Islamic State group.

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"Europe, which speaks of its commitment to human rights, and coalition forces, led by the United States, did nothing," said Abdollah Shirin, a member of the Yazidi community.

Discussing rescue operations, Shirin stressed that he was able to "save 334 people" thanks to the help of his friends and contacts in Syria. Before the outbreak of the crisis in Iraq and Syria, Shirin worked as a merchant in Aleppo and maintained ties with his business contacts who would later assist in rescuing Yazidis.

Shirin recalled that almost all Yazidi captives were kidnapped during an attack on the Iraqi city of Sinyar in 2014. Victims included women and children, even some members of his own family.

Hussein Bozan, another Yazidi man, told reporters that he, his wife and five children fell into captivity under the Islamic State group. Bozan cried when he recalled the abuses suffered by his two daughters and three sons.

A 9-year-old Yazidi, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said the Islamic Group had routinely killed children in cold blood in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

"When we were in captivity [under the Islamic State group], we were forced to watch videos of people’s deaths. By showing us these videos, they were trying to intimidate us. They said that they killed all those who gave information to the Peshmerga (Kurdish forces). I saw with my own eyes how they killed a woman right in the middle of a street in Raqqa by striking her with a knife in her chest," the boy told reporters.

Last January, the Yazidi Minority Affairs Office in Iraq said that 75 percent of the Yazidi civilians held in captivity by the Islamic State group had been freed following operations to recover Mosul.

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However, a report released last April reveals that the Islamic State group still holds more than 3,400 of the at least 6,400 Yazidis who were captured during the extremist group’s offensive in 2014 that allowed the group to take over much of northern Iraq and Syria.

Islamic State group militants have killed, sexually enslaved, and tortured thousands of Yazidi men, women and children. Members of the Yazidi community consider these events to be a genocide committed by the extremist group.

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