Syrian Democratic Forces rescue two Yezidi women held captive by ISIS for nine years

AL-HOL, Syria / SHIGUR, Iraq — The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) successfully freed two young Yezidi women who were kidnapped by the Islamic State (ISIS) nine years ago. The SDF’s Public Relations Office orchestrated their handover to the Êzîdxan Women’s Units (Yekinêyen Jinên Êzîdxan, YJÊ), the all-women wing of the Şengal Resistance Units (Yekîneyên Berxwedana Şengalê, YBŞ), who reunited them with their family in Shigur (Şengal / Sinjar), Iraq.

Sisters Aliya (20) and Besê (24) Khalaf Khader were held captive in the Al-Hol Refugee Camp situated in the countryside of Hasakah, Syria.

Naima Omar, a member of the Yezidi Women’s Freedom Movement, highlighted the global silence surrounding the Yezidi community and its prolonged struggles. She emphasized that Iraq has yet to address the issue of missing Yezidi women, thereby underscoring the challenges faced by the community.

Another member of the Yezidi Women’s Freedom Movement, Nafia Masho, acknowledged the arduous efforts that led to the liberation of these two young women. However, she also stressed that numerous Yezidi women remain unaccounted for, with their fate still unknown.

Expressing heartfelt gratitude, the uncle of the two liberated young women extended his thanks to the SDF, YJÊ, and YBŞ for their instrumental role in freeing the sisters.