Two Yazidi girls reunited with their families: military spokesman

A Yazidi Iraqi woman at the Bajid Kandala camp near the Tigris River, in Kurdistan’s western Duhok province, August 13 2014. (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Two Yazidi girls kidnapped by Islamic State (ISIS) militants have been reunited with their families in Iraq, according to a military spokesman.

The Iraqi military received the two girls from Syria through Rabia border crossing on Friday, said Yehia Rasool, spokesman of commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Asima Khidhr, 17, and Najla Ismael, 16, were kidnapped by the militants in 2014 when Islamic State overran large swathes of Iraqi territory.

“They were reunited with their families in the headquarters of Brigade 71,” Rasool said in a statement.

He further said the Iraqi government “is working hard to return all Yazidi survivors to their families”.

Islamic State overran the Yazidi faith’s heartland of Sinjar in the Kurdistan Region in 2014, forcing young women into servitude as “wives” for its fighters and massacring men and older women.

The militants shot, beheaded, burned alive or kidnapped more than 9,000 members of the minority religion, in what the United Nations has called a genocidal campaign against them. According to community leaders, more than 3,000 Yazidis remain unaccounted for.

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