Stuck in the middle of the ongoing fight between ISIS and the national Iraqi military, the Iraqi civilian population knows the emotional and physical trauma of war first-hand.
On a daily basis, global news media, missionaries, friends and families have expressed their concerns for ISIS captives in Northern Iraq. One Iraqi citizen, Nezar, whose last name is being withheld for security reasons, has joined many in their cries for help.
Nezar, a Yazidi Christian, is a father and husband who lives in a village outside of Sinjar City, about a two-hour car ride from Mosul. Several months ago, he met Christian missionary and Free Burma Rangers (FBR) founder, David Eubank.
Eubank is an American who has been working with the Iraqi military to fight ISIS and support civilians by supplying them with food, medical aid and pastoral care.
In a previous interview with Faithwire, Eubank shared that God called him to serve in Northern Iraq. During one of his mission trips to the suburbs of Mosul, the missionary met Nezar.
In the latest FBR update for Kurdistan, North Iraq, dated May 3, 2017, Eubank recalls how he cried and prayed for the freedom of Nezar’s wife and two children when, in August 2014, he heard that all three had been captured by ISIS.
Nezar holding a picture of his family before ISIS came. (Photo credit: Free Burma Rangers/David Eubank)
This past April, months after Eubank and Nezar first met, Eubank received word from Nezar that he was able to secure enough funds to pay ISIS for the release of his family. This huge blessing moved Eubank so much that he traveled to Sinjar Mountain to document the family’s reunion.
Nezar with his wife and children. (Photo Credit: Free Burma Rangers/David Eubank)
When Eubank met with the family, he learned that Nezar’s 5-year-old son now has a limp. His leg was broken by ISIS fighters during the family’s time in captivity.
The family is now living in an internal displacement camp (IDP) close to Dohuk, Kurdistan in Northern Iraq. At this point, they have no plans to return to their village.
In 2014, the same year Nezar’s family was captured, thousands of Yazidis were either killed, apprehended or forced to convert to Islam, Al Jazeera reported last year.
The report adds that “ISIL slaughtered entire villages, killing at least 5,000 Yazidi men and boys and abducting as many as 7,000 women and girls as sex slaves.”
“It was a methodical campaign of murder, rape, and slavery that UN investigators said in June amounted to genocide.”
The last name of Nezar has been withheld for safety reasons. The identify of his son, daughter and wife has also been withheld.
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