The people of Sinjar in Iraqi Nineveh Province celebrated the return of more than a dozen children who were kidnapped by ISIS in 2014.
More Yazidi children, who were kidnapped by ISIS in 2014, were returned to their families in the city of Sinjar in Nineveh Province. The latest batch of children to be returned to their families in Iraq included fourteen children who were taken by ISIS and trained to become militants. As a result of the Syrian Democratic Force’s (SDF) operation to liberate Baghouz, the last ISIS-held enclave in Syria, dozens of children and women were able to escape the militant group before being forced to participate in the fighting.
“I was trained on the use of the Kalashnikov, was exposed to physical training, and learned the Quran, and Islamic doctrine, and jurisprudence,” said Dalbrin Ali, one of the children who was rescued from iSIS in Syria. “When I finished the religious course, I started the military course and then ran away.”
Dalbrin the young child who was returned to his village says that he escaped with his brother and sister from Baghouz. However, they were separated along the way. “My sister is in the al-Amoud area along with my brother. She was injured and taking treatment there,” said Dalbrin.
While many of these children do not know the fate of their parents, their remaining family members in Sinjar welcomed them with open hands, hoping that they can finally give them the childhood that they missed while under ISIS’ control.
Journalists who have visited some of these families say that man of these children are in a state of shock because of the trauma that they have endured and thus need immediate care.
Officials in Nineveh Province say that the Iraqi Government must provide these liberated children with medical and psychological care to rehabilitate them from the ideology that ISIS attempted to instil in them.
“We, as a local government, demand that they receive special care,” said Noureddine Qabalan, the vice president of the Nineveh Provincial Council. “They should also perform medical tests that prove their identities and hand them over to their parents.”
While this issue remains to be mostly unaddressed by the Iraqi Government, civil society organisations throughout Iraq and Syria have attempted to provide support for these children to rehabilitate them and reintegrate them back into society.
As the end of ISIS control over areas in Iraq and Syria seems near, officials in both countries must make an effort to aid in the psychological rehabilitation of children and women who were kidnapped by the terror group.