Former ISIS sex slave and current UN Goodwill Ambassador, Nadia Murad, returned to her hometown of Kocho, Iraq just a week after it was liberated from the ugly hands of ISIS by Hashd al-Shaab, a branch of the Iraqi military.
Since October of last year, Iraqi national forces have worked tirelessly to push ISIS out of the northern area of Iraq, one of the extremists’ last strong holds in the Middle Eastern nation.
In the terrorist held areas, ISIS unleashed a wave of slaughter while committing numerous other atrocities against men, women and children alike.
Nadia Murad was captured by ISIS and kept as a sex slave. For the fist time in three years, Murad returned to her hometown of Kocho to catch a glimpse of her old house and school, both severely damaged.
As tears streamed down Murad’s face, she told Rudaw, “Nearly 1,700 children and men were piled up in the school.”
Once ISIS took over the school grounds, she said, they separated boys and girls from one another and called them to convert to Islam, but everyone refused. “Now the village is surrounded by mass graves.”
Yazidi & ISIS survivor Nadia Murad returned to her destroyed home 3 yrs after her six brothers & mother were slaughtered by terrorists. 🙁 pic.twitter.com/rHRLp9z91j
— George Thomas (@GTReporting) June 1, 2017
Not only did Murad lose valuable years of her life in the sex trade, but she also lost 6 of her 9 brothers who were killed in Kocho shortly after the extremists came to power.
“What remains of the village is the bones of our brothers, our fathers, and mothers. Even in our house there is nothing left from my mother that I can take with me,” she said. “ISIS destroyed our values [and] we lost everything. We lost our future.”
ISIS has spent years attempting to drag down Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East, calling them a favorite target.
According to a PLOS Medicine study released last month, there is an estimated 10,000 Yazidis who were reportedly killed in a matter of days in August 2014.
Out of the statistic, 3,100 were murdered and half were reportedly executed by gunshot, beheading or burned alive.
The rest of the population died from injuries, starvation and dehydration during a siege on Mount Sinjar, a mountain range the persecuted minority group fled to in an attempt to escape ISIS. Anyone who survived the grueling and chaotic attempt to flee ended up in a remote area, with extremely limited or no access to water or food.
Yazidis and Christians experience high levels of persecution in Iraq. To learn more about how to help them, click here.
Other Must-Read Stories: