As the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Force continues to close in on the final group of ISIS fighters who are holed up in a small Syrian village, many Yazidi women and children are being rescued from the Islamists’ deathly clutches.
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated Firat News Agency (ANF) reported that SDF troops had saved several children who were being held as slaves by the ISIS fighters. Upon being freed, many spoke out about the horrendous treatment they experienced at the hands of the violent terrorists.
“I was 10 when the gangs kidnapped me,” one boy, Sedam, told ANF News. “They first took me to the Tal Afar. Then they separated the women and the men, and left the children alone. We went through Mosul, Raqqa and Hajin and finally came to Baghouz.”
“I don’t remember how they took me, because I was 5,” added another boy, Iyad. “They beat me every day.”
“I hate ISIS because they kidnapped me and took me away from my family,” he added.
The SDF have rescued another two Yazidi families from Islamic State terrorists in Syria. A total of 21 Yazidi children and women have been liberated from IS in Baghouz/Syria in one week. #YazidiGenocide pic.twitter.com/8qlKvJDe0T
— Yazidi (@Ezidi2) February 25, 2019
One of the many Yazidi women who escaped also spoke out about her harrowing tale of survival. Faryal, who has a 5-year-old son, said she would often be passed around different ISIS fighters for sex. They were “monsters who treated us like animals,” she said, according to the Independent.
Finally free and with her young son by her side, Faryal’s elation is almost inexpressible.
“I can’t put into words how I was feeling at that moment,” she said. “All I could think was: ‘Please, take me away from here.'”
ISIS fall to crushing military defeat
Despite once controlling over 88,000 square kilometers of territory stretching from western Syria to eastern Iraq, the Islamic State’s so-called “caliphate” has now been reduced to less than half a square kilometer of land, located outside the Eastern Syrian town of Baghouz. Thousands of civilians, mostly women and children, are currently being evacuated out of the area, as Kurdish-led Syrian forces edge closer to expelling the last remaining jihadis.
Photos: Closing In On the Last ISIS Stronghold – 26 images from the area around the village of Baghouz in eastern Syria, where the final vestiges of a so-called "caliphate" are surrounded and besieged by a US-backed coalition of Kurdish & Syrian forces. https://t.co/IFgEzoOKAI pic.twitter.com/ademAtLNnM
— The Atlantic Photo (@TheAtlPhoto) February 22, 2019
According to the Straits Times, the SDF has evacuated nearly 5,000 men, women and children since last Wednesday.
“The numbers of foreign fighters and their relatives that we are holding is increasing drastically,” Kurdish foreign affairs official Abdel Karim Omar told AFP. “Our current infrastructure can’t handle the mass influx.”
A refugee crisis threatens to develop as the Kurdish forces take scores of ISIS fighters into custody. The SDF has called on countries across the world to repatriate their citizens, but governments are concerned about the security risk of letting jihadi terrorists back into their home nations.
“As thousands of foreigners flee Daesh’s crumbling caliphate, the burden which is already too heavy for us to handle is getting even heavier,” SDF spokesman Mustefa Bali said on Twitter Saturday. “This will remain as the biggest challenge awaiting us unless governments take action and fulfill their responsibilities for their citizens.”
President Donald Trump has also called on countries to take responsibility for their de facto citizens who traveled out to the Middle East to join the Islamic terror group.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, roughly 46,000 people have poured out of ISIS’s dwindling territory since early December.