Yazidi Woman Freed After a DECADE of ISIS Captivity!

US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria liberated a Yazidi woman after being held in captivity by the Islamic State for a decade, where she was raped and forced to marry extremists.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed armed coalition of ethnic militias and rebel groups in Syria, announced on February 5th that the 24-year-old Yazidi woman, along with her son and daughter, were rescued during an ongoing security operation by Kurdish fighters in Syria’s northeastern al-Hol camp. This sprawling area housed tens of thousands of people, mostly wives and children of Islamic State fighters as well as supporters of the terrorist group.

On February 2nd, the SDF launched Operation Humanity and Security 3 at al-Hol. Around 36 people have been detained on suspicion of being connected to the extremist group that once ruled parts of Iraq and Syria. 

The armed coalition also said that on the first day of the operations alone, 21 Islamic State “operatives were captured and terrorist materials seized,” adding that booby traps, explosives, and tunnels were discovered. 

The SDF said that the Women’s Protection Unit (YPJ), an all-female armed militia composed primarily of female fighters from Kurdish and other ethnic backgrounds, liberated the Yazidi woman on February 4th, adding that she was originally from the Hardan village in the Yazidi heartland of Sinjar in Iraq. 

The woman was abducted by Islamic State fighters in 2014 during the Yazidi genocide perpetrated by the Islamic State, where thousands of men were killed, and thousands of women and teenage girls were abducted and held as sex slaves. 

In a video released by the YPJ, the Yazidi woman said she was staying with her family before she was taken to the camp and was told not to reveal her identity or say she was a Yazidi. She also used a fake name during her stay at al-Hol until she was liberated.

They destroyed my life. I was sold and bought like a sheep,” the woman said about the time she spent at the hands of the Islamic State before being brought to al-Hol in 2019. She also added that at one point, she was in the house of an older man named Abu Jaafar with six other women, and the man would beat her up if she rejected him.

The women who resisted rape used to be killed,” the woman said.

The al-Hol camp, a heavily guarded camp overseen by Syrian Kurdish-led forces allied with the United States, was once home to 73,000 people, with the vast majority of them being Syrians and Iraqis. The number of residents in al-Hol dropped over the years as many women and children were repatriated from al-Hol.

Although al-Hol houses mostly Syrians and Iraqis, it also includes citizens of about 60 other nationalities, with Syrians and Iraqis held in one section.

Those of non-Syrian or Iraqi nationalities lived in one part of the camp called the Annex, considered to be the home of the most fanatic and die-hard Islamic State supporters. Many of them had traveled thousands of miles to join the terrorist group after the Islamic State swept the region in 2014.

Islamic State extremists also have sleeper cells in the camp, and several security operations have been carried out over the past few years, where women held in IS captivity as slaves were liberated and extremists were detained.

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