by Dish Staff
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) August 13, 2014
While the Yazidis who fled their hometown of Sinjar and sought refuge in the mountains to the north are apparently no longer under siege by ISIS and hopefully will be able to escape to safety soon, Kimberly Dozier points to the others, for whom no rescue is forthcoming:
ISIS has taken hundreds, if not thousands, of Yezidis prisoner, and threatened them with slavery and rape. But a few of the prisoners have smuggled in cellphones and are reaching out—pleading for help. In desperate phone calls to relatives in Iraq and in the U.S., they’re begging for rescue from the prisons, schools or mosques across northern Iraq, where they are being held by ISIS militants.
They all tell a similar tale of horror:
families fleeing on foot caught by militants in trucks and cars. The men are then dragged away at gunpoint from their wives and children, never to be seen again. The younger unmarried women are being told they will be forcibly married to ISIS fighters. Some are taken away and raped and a few have even been sold at Mosul’s main market. The married women aren’t sure what will happen to them and their children—they fear they will be sold into slavery.
Matt Cetti-Roberts spoke to some Yazidis who managed to escape when ISIS overran Sinjar but whose families were not so fortunate. Resaleh Shirgany recounts:
I left my mother. I had never met her before because my parents were divorced, and four other family. [Crying.] They were living in the the Al Jazeera [housing] complex in the northwest of Sinjar. It was the third day after da’ash arrived. They discovered where they were living and my mother was one of five families that were raped. First they raped the women in front of the men, they then killed the husbands while the wives watched and then they killed the women. It was a massacre there. [Crying.] …
The same day when we ran away [from the mountain], my two female cousins who were behind us in a car as we left were captured by da’ash. One of them was pregnant and with her husband and her brother-in-law. They were stopped in the middle of the street. They raped them in front of the people that were with them and I could see it from the back window of the car. Suddenly everyone was gone. They took them away.
Previous Dish on the plight of the Yazidis here.