Human Rights

16 Iraqi Children Kidnapped By ISIS Were Liberated And Returned To Nineveh

Iraq

The liberation of territories from ISIS by the SDF in Baghouz has led to the rescue of children who were captured in Iraq and taken to Syria by the terrorist group.

With smiles, laughter and an atmosphere of joy, families in Nineveh Province in Iraq welcome 16 young boys who were kidnapped by ISIS years ago. Observers say that the anti-ISIS operations in Baghouz are not only a sigh of relief to the thousands of civilians living under the militant group’s rule but also to the families of thousands of children who were kidnapped by ISIS in 2014.

In the recent operations that have been conducted by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the town in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zour Province, the SDF was able to free dozens of children who were kidnapped by ISIS from the cities of Tal Afar and SInjar in 2014.

“Today, we came here after the liberation of the 16 Yazidi children who were kidnapped from Tal Afar,” said a female official in the Nineveh Governorate. “We are continuing to work for the liberation of the rest of the children and families in Syria.”

The 16 children, who were taken back to their families, spoke about the horrors that they witnessed under the militant group’s rule during their years in kidnap.

[ISIS} took us with our mothers and then separated us,” said Mahdi Ghazi, one of the children who was freed. “However, my mother did not give them my little brother, so they beat her and took him by force.”

With thousands of people still missing, families across Iraq hope that the defeat of ISIS in Baghouz will finally provide some hope for the fate of their loved ones.

“Thank God for the return of our children and thank everyone who contributed to their liberation,” said a father of one of the kidnapped children. “I hope that the rest of the abductees from my family will come back. Five members of my family are still held captive by ISIS.”