Islamic State releases 246 Yezidi captives northern Iraq

Kurdish Yezidi civilians escaping Shingal area in northern Iraq, heading to Mount Sinjar, after ISIS militants took control of the area in August, 2014. File photo

ARA News

Erbil, Kurdistan – On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) released some 246 Yezidis who were held by the group for months, including women, children and the elderly, a source from the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the Kurdistan region of Iraq announced on Wednesday.

Major General Westa Rasool, the commander of the Peshmerga forces in the areas located south of Kirkuk, told local reporters that the Kurdish forces received 216 Yezidi hostages in the Humera area south of Kirkuk, and then its medical staff embarked to provide health care for them. 

In the meantime, Dawood Khader, a resident of the village of Kojo (administratively linked to Sinjar in Nineveh province in northern Iraq) told ARA News that the 30 abductees of the Yezidi minority were freed from the grip of Daesh (the Islamic State) on Tuesday evening. 

“The group released the abductees by the help of an Arab mediation clan, as they arrived at Mount Sinjar Tuesday,” Dawood said, pointing out that all the released people were from the village of Kojo and were transferred to the city of Dohuk in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

“Kojo’s released people included women and children and they are in a good condition, some of them were referred to the relevant committees to register their names and addresses, and were provided with the necessary assistance after the traumatic experience of detention by the radical group.” 

Dawood added that the released Yezidis have been held as captives for nearly eight months.

Meanwhile, officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) reported that the Kurdish forces held indirect negotiations with the Islamic State through Arab tribal figures of Hwaija regarding the release of the abducted Yezidi civilians.

The group still holds thousands of Yezidi captives, among them more than 3000 women. 

Noteworthy, the IS group took control of the Yezidi district of Shingal in Nineveh province of northwestern Iraq in August, 2014.


Reporting by: Sarbaz Yousef

Source: ARA News

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