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Practical World True News Magazine

Islamic State Frees 350 Elderly and Ailing Yazidis (New York Times)

Islamic State Frees 350 Elderly and Ailing Yazidis (New York Times)



KIRKUK, Iraq — The Islamic State freed about 350 members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority on Saturday, delivering them to safety in the country’s northern Kurdish region.





Almost all of those released were elderly, disabled or unwell, and they included several infants with serious illnesses, according to a Reuters reporter who saw them arrive in the Kurdish-controlled city of Kirkuk.

Islamic State militants attacked the Yazidis in northwest Iraq last summer, killing or capturing thousands of them.

Those who could flee escaped to the autonomous Kurdistan region, where many are living in camps along with other religious and ethnic minorities, as well as Sunni Muslims displaced by the militants.

One of the freed Yazidis, who was in his 70s, said that Islamic State fighters had ordered them onto buses on Saturday, and that they feared they were going to be killed.

Instead, they were driven to an area controlled by the Islamic State fighters known as Shirqat, where they spent the night, and from there they were taken to Hawija at the southwestern entrance of Kirkuk.

Kurdish forces, backed by a surge of American airstrikes, drove back Islamic State militants in northwestern Iraq last month, breaking a long siege of Mount Sinjar, where thousands of Yazidis had been stranded for months. But many Yazidi villages remain under the control of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Yazidi beliefs combine elements of several ancient Middle Eastern religions.

Islamic State fighters say Yazidis must embrace their radical version of Islam or die. The group has also forced captured Yazidi women and girls to marry its fighters.
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