Based on statistics there are still 3,392 Ezidis, including children, remaining in Islamic State (ISIS) captivity, the mayor of Sinjar said on Thursday (June 15).
Speaking during a press conference in Duhok, Mayor Mahma Khalil called on the U.S.-led Coalition forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to find the still-captured Ezidis during the operation to liberate Raqqa, ISIS’ de facto capital in Syria.
Khalil added that Kurdish authorities have discovered 42 mass graves of Ezidi people in Sinjar, five of which are in the village of Kojo, recaptured recently by Popular Mobilization Forces.
The Sinjar mayor also said that 11,025 Ezidi families, amounted to 80,000 people, have so far returned to their homes in the district.
ISIS has systematically killed, captured or enslaved thousands of Ezidis when it overran the district of Sinjar in northern Iraq in August 2014.
Proclaiming a theocratic caliphate based on a radical interpretation of Sunni Islam, ISIS has tried to erase the Ezidis’ identity by forcing men to choose between conversion to Islam or death, raping girls as young as nine, selling women at slave markets, and drafting boys to fight.