Fighters from the Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have reunited a dozen children from the Izadi minority with their families in the country's northern province of Nineveh after five years of captivity at the hands of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in neighboring Syria.
The media bureau of the volunteer forces – better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – announced in a statement on Tuesday that the children were rescued after a delicate intelligence operation.
The statement added the children had been kidnapped by Daesh militants from the Kurdish-populated northern Iraqi town of Sinjar back in June 2014.
Four other children from the city of Tal Afar, located 63 kilometers west of Mosul, were also with the Izadis rescued from Daesh captivity.
On March 2, a group of Izadi women and children, who had been freed a week earlier from the clutches of Daesh Takfiris, were reunited with their families in Iraq.
Overjoyed families met their loved ones at a rural truck stop on the road linking Sinjar to Dohuk city.
The group of three Izadi women and 18 children had crossed into Iraq from Syria the previous day. They were among thousands of civilians who fled the last vestige of Daesh's territorial rule at the besieged eastern Syrian village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border.
The Paris-based NGO International Federation for Human Rights said in a report on October 25 last year that foreign militants, including many of European origins, were responsible for atrocities and acts of brutality carried out by Daesh against Izadi Kurds.
Last August, an official at the Endowments and Religious Affairs Ministry of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government said more than 3,000 members of the Izadi minority group had remained unaccounted for ever since Daesh overran their hometowns in northern Iraq in 2014.
Khairi Bozarni said more than 2,500 Izadi Kurds had lost their lives at the hands of Daesh, while another 6,000 – mostly women and children – had been abducted.
He noted that 66 places of worship for Izadis had also been desecrated or destroyed by the terror group.
Bozarni called on the international community as well as the central government in Baghdad to determine the fate of missing Izadis as soon as possible.
Back in August 2014, Daesh terrorists overran Sinjar, killing, raping, and enslaving large numbers of Izadi Kurds.
The region was recaptured in November 2015, during an operation by Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Izadi fighters.
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