Malika the Yezidi.. Escaping the ISIS Hell

Five years ago, Malika Saad Dakhil was abducted by ISIS along with thousands of children in busescrossing the bumpy roads between the mountainous city of Shankal in the Iraqi Nineveh Plains and the ISIS capital of Raqqa which was usually the terminal of such notorious buses. Interviewed by “Zat Masr” in the village of Kamra in the countryside of the Syrian city of Hasaka, the 11-year-old girl said that ISIS fighters who invaded the town killed her father, enslaved her along with her mother Rania, and brother Radwan, and brought them to the slave markets in Syria.

Malika, who speaks the Syrian Homsian dialect, remained in slavery for five years until she was liberated days ago from the Al-Hawl detention camp of ISIS families, east of the city of Hasaka.

Malika was unable to count the number of those who bought her, her mother and brother from the ISIS militants, but she could recollect the last sale station saying that aHoms-grown ISIS official had bought them in the town of Hajin in the countryside of the eastern city of DeirEzzor, and the family had stayed with him for about three years in this Euphrates town before she lost her mother and brother nearly a year ago. She added: “3:00 AM at dawn, a coalition aircraft flew over the house of the ISIS official that we were in and bombed and destroyed it. My mother, brother, and the ISIS man were killed, and I miraculously escaped from death but barely with signs on my feet, hands, nose, and forehead. ”

Malika moved to live with an Homsian ISIS lady called Umm Salim, who took Malika with her to Al-Hawl camp, which was described by the Yazidi child as a nightmare.

Liberation of Malika

NalinRasho is a member of the Yazidi House, which oversees the affairs of the Yazidis, including receiving the kidnapped and handing them over to their families in Iraqi Kurdistan. She was interviewed by “ZatMasr” in the village of Kamra to unveil the liberation of the child late last month. “A Yazidiyoung woman was freed from Al-Hawl camp, and we, the Yezidi House, try to obtain information from Yazidi survivors and children that may lead to the release of other victims,” Nalin said.

In coordination between the Yazidi House and the Internal Security Forces of the camp, the girl, who wore black clothes imposed by ISIS on the females,was freed.

Yezidi children speak different languages

One month after the ISIS occupation of Iraq’s Yezidi stronghold of Shankal, the Yazidi activist Abu ShujaDanai formed a network to liberate the Yazidis and liberated the first batch of abductees (six women were from the city of Raqqa) just after two months in the grip of ISIS. He said that he freed nearly 600 kidnapped women and children during his search with his network for the kidnapped in Iraqi and Syrian cities and towns. He added: “Most of the children whom we freed were speaking the languages ​​of their ISIS abductors. Some of them spoke Turkish, others English, French, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic dialects of Tunisia, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, along with other dialects. The mother tongue of many of them almost wiped out of memory”.

Malika – the liberated child

19 members of Malika family Abducted

In August 2014, ISIS kidnapped 19 people from the Malika family. Yazidi writer KhaledTaalou, uncle of Malika’s father, stated to “Zat Masr” that his brother, wife, children, grandchildren and their mothers along with his sister Laila and her family were captured by ISIS militants before their arrival to the ShankalMountains, and were transported to Tal Afar, then to Iraqi and other Syrian cities such as Raqqa, Hajin, and Bagouz, the last ISIS strongholds in the Euphrates Valley before their liberation by the Syrian Democratic Forces last March. He added: “12 members of my family were freed, and now living in the Shariya camp in Iraqi Kurdistan. As for my brother’s wife and son, they were killed in Hajin, while the fate of five members of my family is still unknown. They are my brother, his three male children, and my sister’s husband”.

According to the statistics of the Kidnapped Yezidi Rescue Office in Iraqi Kurdistan approved by the United Nations, the number of Yezidiabductees at the hands of ISIS reached 6,417, while the number of survivors from the organization’s hold reached 3515 survivors, while the office counted the number of orphans of the Shankal disaster by 2745 orphans.


Despite ISIS vanishing, abductees still disappearing

After the ISIS collapsed on the doorstep of the town of Al-Baghouz on the Syrian-Iraqi border, thousands of Yazidis abducted by the organization are still disappearing. The kidnapped liberator, Abu ShujaDanai, said that they were transferred to the regions under the Operation Euphrates Shield and the Olive Branch, the town and countryside of Idlib under the control of the Syrian armed opposition as well as Turkey.”

Danai said that the leader of the “Ahrar al-Sharqiyya” faction Hatem Abu Shaqra, whose militants are mostly from ISIS according to informed reports despite declaring his faction under the banner of the opposition Syrian National Army, is enslaving dozens of Yazidis and trading in selling them. He added that ISIS militants transferred a number of Yezidi children and women to Turkey and some of them were set free.

Abu Shuja Danai

Reports confirmed that Shakra and his militia committed a heinous murder against the Kurdish official, Hefrin Khalaf, on the third day of the Operation Spring of Peace launched by Turkey against Kurdish militants in the cities of “Sri Kani” (Ras Al-Ain) and “Kari Saba” (Tel Abyad) on 9th of October 2019.


In June 2016, the United Nations issued a report indicating that ISIS committed genocide against the Yezidis, numbered in Iraq at 550,000, as well as other crimes against humanity, including sexual slavery. The report confirmed that ISIS had sought to eradicate the Yazidi community through mass murders, systematic abuses, and sexual slavery, as well as by forcibly deporting them, and separating them from their community’s religious beliefs and practices.

The report indicated that ISIS militants separated Yezidis men and children over the age of 12 from the rest of their families and forced them to change their religion; and killed those who refused to convert to Islam in order to destroy their identity. The report also concluded that ISIS sold thousands of Yezidis, some of whom did not exceed the age of nine, as sex slaves in slave markets in the cities of Aleppo, Raqqa, Homs, and DeirEzzor.



Mahmoud Osama


Ahmed Beca


Lamar Arkandi

Syrian Journalist – Al-Hasakah

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