Yezidis escaping from Islamic State militants in northern Iraq.
by Nasir Ali
DUHOK, Kurdistan Region – On a hidden phone and in secret phone calls, a Yezidi girl held with 200 others as war booty by Islamic State (IS/ISIS) militants near Mosul painted a tragic picture of girls being singled out daily as sex slaves, and some committing suicide.
Every day, IS fighters visit the prison hall to pick out the prettiest for their emirs, said the girl, who is 24 and whose name is being withheld by Rudaw for her safety.
“Three to four times a day they visit the hall. The girls plead with them for a bullet in the head to put them out of their misery,” she said in between sobs in a secret phone call to a Rudaw reporter.
She said that about 200 Yezidi Kurdish women were being held in a big prison hall near Baaji county in Mosul province.
Most of the captives are from the Shingal districts of Gir Azair and Siba Sheikh Khidri which came under sudden IS attacks in early August, said the girl, recounting how they were captured.
“We were in Gir Azair district where IS fighters appeared so suddenly that we were unable to flee. They started arresting everyone -- men, women and children. Later, they took us to Shingal county, where they separated women from men.”
“We were about 200 girls together. Later, we were taken by pick-up trucks to another location close to Baaj district,” she added.
According to information obtained by Rudaw from activists and Yezidi religious leaders, 2,000 Yezidis have fallen into the hands of the IS fighters and remain unaccounted for.
In weeping tones, the girl repeatedly gave the location of their prison, pleading for fighter jets to pound the place so they could all rest in peace.
“Every day the fighters come and look among us,” she said, hardly able to control her emotions. “They pick two or three pretty girls. When the girls return they are in tears, exhausted and humiliated. The fighters take the girls to their emirs, and the emirs assault them sexually.
One phone conversation was suddenly interrupted when she hurriedly whispered, “Hang up, hang up, they are coming.”
In another call she said that conditions, including the food, were bad. “So far, a number of girls have committed suicide. Today, one girl hanged herself with her headscarf and died,” she recounted, pleading for help.
“Rescue us, rescue us,” she begged. “Anyone who can hear our voice -- US, Europe, anyone -- please help; rescue us.”
The IS has especially targeted the non-Muslim minorities, with the Yezidis especially reviled by them as “devil worshipers” for their religious beliefs.