Two Yezidis abducted by ISIS rescued from al-Hol camp


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Two Yezidi women abducted by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014 were rescued from Syria’s al-Hol camp on Saturday and are expected to return to their homes to Duhok in the next few days, authorities have told Rudaw English.

The women,  between 17 and 20 years old,  are from Kocho village and Ozer, a sub-district of Shingal in western Nineveh province, the director of the Office for Yezidi Abductees' Affairs Hussein Qaid  told Rudaw English on Monday.

They were found on October 29 and were later rescued from al-Hol camp by the Office's "special teams", according to Qaid.

Approximately 6,418 Yezidis were kidnapped when ISIS overran the Yezidi heartland of Shingal in August 2014. Women and young girls were sold into sexual slavery, with young boys forced to fight for the terror group.  According to the Office for Yezidi Abductees' Affairs, 3,542 have been rescued - including 1,204 women.

Thousands were killed and in what has been recognized by many countries as a genocide against the small ethno-religious community.

"The international community should have given more attention to this, to help us rescue those still in captivity at Al-Hol camp or other places." Qaid added.

Six years on, nearly 200,000 Yazidis are still displaced, many living in camps hours away from their homeland of Shingal, according to recent assessments by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Exhumation of mass graves by the Iraqi government recently resumed in the Shingal village of Solagh with the help of Kurdistan Regional Government and other international organizations. The village, close to Kocho, was the site of a massacre of many elderly Yezidi women in August 2014.

Approximately 68,000 people – including Syrians and Iraqis as well as those of foreign nationality – live in al-Hol camp. Nearly two thirds, approximately 43,000, are children.

Conditions at al-Hol, home to the vast majority of ISIS-linked women and children, have been almost universally recognized as unsuitable, with poor sanitary conditions and overcrowding. Human Rights Watch (HRW) detailed the "filthy and often inhuman and life-threatening conditions" at the camp in a report published in June



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