It appears that one source of revenue for ISIS is from the trafficking of kidnapped young women, many of whom are Yazidis. When ISIS fought to expand their territory by successfully battling in the Sinjar area in August 2014, they took thousands of the local women with them.
The Yazidis have lived around the Sinjar area from the 12th century. According to their tradition, it is at this summit that that Noah’s Ark had come to rest. Some of the Yazidis fled to nearby mountains to hide from ISIS.
The Yazidi are an ancient religious sect. As mostly ethnic Kurds, they pay homage to an angel figure thought to be the devil by Muslims. ISIS considers this faith to be heresy. This is how ISIS justifies the sexual abuse, kidnappings, and the selling of these women. ISIS does execute any Yazidis who refuse to convert to its extreme ideology. My question is: once these women convert, why are they not treated better?
To date, over 2,500 women are still missing. Over 1850 of the Yazidis women have escaped, been rescued, returned at a rate of thousands of dollars paid by their families or charities. In addition, there has been the discovery of 5 mass graves as of November 2015.
During this 8/2014 Sinjar Massacre battle, many Yazidis escaped into the mountains to be boxed in by ISIS fighters. This time, the US military came to provide cover by using air power to assist Kurdish fighters in establishing an escape route. Also, the US planes and other partners, dropped food and other supplies for their survival needs.
On 8/12/14, CNN reported the following:
“By Sunday (8/10/14), according to Iraqi and Kurdish sources, as many as 20,000 had been able to leave the mountains — perhaps half of those who had been stranded for nearly a week. U.N. agencies estimated late last week there were as many as 50,000 people in the mountains.”
“Kurdish peshmerga forces appear to have secured an escape route, but a hazardous one with ISIS militants still roaming the area. According to some accounts, Syrian Kurds also helped people use parts of northeastern Syria under their control to reach Kurdish areas of northern Iraq.”
The Times of Israel published an interview with one Yazidi women who had escaped life a under ISIS rule. The 9/2/15 article, “I want a blue-eyed Yazidi’: Teen describes IS slave market, tells the following story:
“Kidnapped, beaten, sold and raped: the Islamic State group is running an international market in Iraq where Christian and Yazidi women are sold as sexual slaves, a teenager who escaped told AFP.”
“Seized as Islamic State fighters swept through northern regions inhabited by the Yazidi religious minority, Jinan was moved around between several locations before being bought by two men, a former policeman and an imam.”
“She described to AFP how she and other Yazidi prisoners were locked up in a house.”
“They tortured us, tried to forcefully convert us. If we refused we were beaten, chained outdoors in the sun, forced to drink water with dead mice in it. Sometimes they threatened to torture us with electricity,” she said.”
“These men are not human. They only think of death, killing. They take drugs constantly. They seek vengeance against everyone. They say that one day Islamic State will rule over the whole world.”
“In the book, Jinan describes how once, in Mosul, she was led into “a massive reception hall with large columns … dozens of women were gathered there.”
“The fighters circulated among us, laughing raucously, pinching our backsides,” she writes in “Daesh’s Slave,” using an Arabic acronym for the jihadist group.”
“She said one man complained, saying: “That one has big breasts. But I want a Yazidi with blue eyes and pale skin. Those are the best apparently. I am willing to pay the price.”
“During such “slave markets” she saw Iraqis and Syrians but also Westerners whose nationality she could not discern.”
“The best-looking girls were reserved for the bosses or wealthy clients from Gulf nations.”
“Once she was sold, Jinan’s days were punctuated by men’s visits to the house where she was imprisoned with other women.”
“Fighters came to make their purchases in the foyer where traders acted as intermediaries between the slave owners and emirs who inspected the “livestock”, Jinan wrote in the book, which was written with the help of French journalist Thierry Oberle.”
“I will exchange your Beretta pistol for the brunette,” said one of the traders. “If you prefer to pay cash it is $150 (133 euros). You can also pay in dinars.”
“Convinced that she did not speak Arabic, Janin’s two owners spoke freely in front of her and one night she heard a conversation revealing the extent to which the slave trade is run like a business.”
“A man cannot purchase more than three women, unless he is from Syria, Turkey or a Gulf nation,” said one, named Abou Omar.”
“It’s good for business,” replied the other, Abou Anas. “A Saudi buyer has transport and food costs that a member of the Islamic State does not. He has a higher quota to make his purchases profitable.”
“It is a good deal: the Islamic State increases its profits to support the mujahideen and our foreign brothers are satisfied.”
“After managing to escape using a set of stolen keys, Jinan made her way back to her husband and is now living in a Yazidi refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan.”
“If we go back home, there will be other genocides against us. The only solution is that we have a region to ourselves, under international protection,” she told AFP.”
There are current news that Iraqi Kurds are making gains against Daesh (ISIS) in the Sinjar battle. The 11/13/ 15 article, published by Shiitenews.org details the following:
“Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces have managed to retake some positions from the Daesh Takfiri group in northwestern Iraq as a fresh offensive is under way for taking back the strategic town of Sinjar.”
“The attack began at 7:00 am (0400 GMT) on 11/12/15, and the Peshmerga forces advanced on several axes to liberate the center of the Sinjar district,” senior Peshmerga officer Major General Ezzeddine Saadun said.”
“A statement by the security council of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said at least 30 Daesh militants have been killed over the past 24 hours of battle in and around Sinjar. It said Daesh has now “resorted” to planting car bombs on the roads and streets where the Peshmerga forces are making advances.”
“Other officials said the Peshmerga have regained control of multiple villages north of Sinjar. Kurdish forces have also cut off a major highway linking Iraq to the Syrian town of Raqqah, which is claimed by Daesh as its de facto capital.”
“The KRG said that the highway 47 is now cut off from both eastern and western sides of Sinjar, saying experts are busy securing the road for further progress of the Kurdish fighters.”
“Kurdish sources had earlier said that up to 7,500 Kurdish fighters would take part in the operation in Sinjar, a town located around 40 kilometers from the border with Syria, where Daesh carried out a brutal campaign of killings, enslavement and rape against the (Yazidi) Izadi religious minority.”
“Major General Hashem Seetayi, another Peshmerga officer, said the ongoing operation is aimed at establishing “a significant buffer zone” to protect Sinjar and its inhabitants from incoming artillery, adding that coalition warplanes will provide close air support to Peshmerga forces throughout the operation.”
“Around 300 to 400 Daesh forces are estimated to be still inside Sinjar. The liberation of the town would be a serious blow to Daesh as it cuts off the militants’ supply line from Syria and would further isolate them in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, which fell into the hands of the group last summer.”