Kidnapped, Abused and Married by Force: Yazidi Captives Escape ISIS
Since ISIS launched its Islamic jihad, horror stories of atrocities have been pouring out of Iraq and Syria. Now several young girls, sold by the Islamic fighters, have escaped and are sharing their stories.
None of the stories could be independently verified, but all of them reflected circumstances reported by the United Nations last month. According to the U.N., as many as 1,000 women and children were abducted by the jihadist army.
The Islamic State does nothing to hide their targeting of all non-Muslims. In fact, from their videotaped beheadings to their bombings of religious sites, they've publicly displayed their gruesome acts.
Married by Force
ISIS considers the Yazidis a heretical sect and gave many of them the ultimatum to convert to Islam, flee their homes or be killed.
They don't even give mercy to women and children.
"I have been sold in Syria. I stayed about five days with my two sisters, then one of my sisters was sold and taken to Mosul and I remained in Syria," one 15-year-old Yazidi girl said. Her identity has been kept secret out of concern for the safety of her family, who remains captive by the ISIS terrorists.
The militants had seized Sinjar, her hometown, killing hundreds and causing thousands more to flee to survive.
For weeks, the girl and two of her sisters were shifted from one place to another.
"Those who didn't want to get married were married by force, whether they became a Muslim or not. They insisted on marrying us, even offering to live together then get married," she added.
She claimed she shot the Palestinian man she was married off to in an attempt to escape, but then a Saudi fighter bought her for $1,000 and took her to his home as his new wife.
"He told me, 'I'm going to change your name to Abeer so your mother doesn't recognize you. You'll become Muslim; then I will marry you. But I refused to become a Muslim and that's why I fled," she said.
Again, she planned an escape. She said she found a powdery narcotic substance in the Saudi man's home and poured it in tea she served to him and the other fighters living in the house. The powder caused them to sleep heavily.
She said she then found a man who would drive her to Turkey to meet her brother and a smuggler who would bring them to Iraq.
'Nothing Can Be Worse Than This'
Amsha Ali, a 19-year-old Yazidi woman, and her 20-month-old son Muayed were taken from Sinjar in early August and held for 25 days by ISIS terrorists along with other women.
"By God, when they took girls and women it was a very sad feeling for me. I saw a lot of murders, murders of Yazidis, but the killing was not the hardest thing for me. Even when they (ISIS) forced my husband, brother-in-law, and my father-in-law on the ground to be murdered - it was painful, but marrying (them) was the worst. It was hardest thing for me."
Amsha was forced into a marriage with an ISIS militant after her husband was taken and presumably killed.
"I told them (other abducted Yazidi girls) that there is nothing worse than this. Nothing can be worse than this and nothing worse than this can happen to us. I was telling them that they killed our men and they destroyed our homes and if we stay in their hands, they are going to marry us and we will only be able to live married, but they were afraid. I kept telling them 'let's run,' but nobody listened. Being so terrified has left them in this situation and now I know nothing about what happened to them," Amsha, who is eight months pregnant with her Yazidi husband's child, said.
During her captivity her captors threatened to murder her 20-month-old son if she did not convert to Islam and accept the Muslim name of Sara.
She managed to escape from Mosul by fleeing through a bathroom window at night. Amsha now lives with 27 relatives in an unfinished building in the Yazidi town of Sharia. Her husband is still missing.
Other women spoke to the Associate Press, describing how the militants would deprive them of food, water or even a place to sit.
They all reported having seen dozens of other Yazidi women and children, including infants, in captivity. And they all said that they have relatives who are still missing.
Another 19-year-old Yazidi woman, also choosing to remain anonymous, recounted how she was forced to care for a 13-year-old girl being groomed to marry an ISIS fighter.
She was also forcibly married along with two other women to a fighter living in Mosul.
The girls who spoke to the AP all confirm that many women still remain in captivity with no hope of escape. They said others were shot by the militants when they tried to escape and many were raped if they were caught.