Erbil – At least four Yezidi girls were able to escape Islamic State’s (ISIS) captivity in the city of Mosul in Iraq’s northwestern Nineveh Governorate.
Informed sources told ARA News that three of the Yezidi captives were freed with the support of the Arab al-Luhaib tribe in Mosul, while the fourth was able to flee on her own and reached Peshmerga-controlled areas northeast of Mosul.
Falah Hassan Zaidan, the Iraqi Minister of Agriculture, confirmed in a press statement that members of a-Luhaib tribe helped three Yezidi girls to escape ISIS captivity in the city of Mosul.
A Peshmerga officer, meanwhile, reported that a Yezidi woman arrived in the Kurdish-held northeastern Mosul after fleeing the embattled city.
“The Kurdistan Regional Government bears the responsibility of freeing hundreds of Yezidi captives from ISIS grip,” Kurdish journalist Hewar Duhoki told ARA News. “This requires a lot of serious efforts, especially that ISIS started using civilians as human shields to protect its Iraqi de facto capital of Mosul.”
In August 2014, ISIS radicals took over the Yezidi region of Shingal/Sinjar in northern Iraq, causing a mass displacement of nearly 400,000 people to Duhok and Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. Tens of thousands of Yezidis remained trapped in Mount Sinjar, suffering mass killings, kidnappings and rape cases, according to local and military sources. Also, more than 3000 Yezidi girls have been taken by the radical group as sex slaves.
On November 13, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraqi Kurdistan, backed by an air cover from the US-led coalition forces, announced the liberation of the entire Yezidi district of Shingal in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh after fierce battles with ISIS extremists. The Kurdish forces have recently discovered more than five mass graves in the Yezidi region, where hundreds of Yezidi civilians have been summarily executed and buried by ISIS jihadis. Yet, thousands of Yezidi women remain in ISIS captivity after being sold as sex slaves across the group’s territory in Iraq and Syria.