Nearly half of Yazidi women kidnapped by the Islamic State remain unaccounted for or missing despite the terror group’s immense territorial losses since 2014, Iraqi officials told Agence France Press Sunday.
ISIS captured the historic Iraqi Yazidi territory of Mount Sinjar in 2014 and took nearly 7,000 Yazidi women captive. ISIS routinely justifies the systematic rape and enslavement of Yazidi women with narrow and highly selective readings of specific passages of the Quran. The group has since lost nearly 95 percent of the territory that it captured in Iraq and Syria, and is largely confined to a small pocket in the Syrian desert.
Nearly half of the women have escaped the terrorist group with grim stories of child rape, wholesale sex slavery, and imprisonment. ISIS routinely rapes young girls as young as 12, often buying and selling women across Syria and Iraq. The religious justification of rape is a powerful recruiting tool for ISIS as it provides sexual loophole to men from deeply religious communities where casual sex is forbidden.
A 12-year-old Yazidi girl held by ISIS at one point told The New York Times in 2015 that she pleaded with her captor to stop raping her. In response, in he told her “that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God.”
In another case, ISIS burned 19 young girls alive in the center of the then-occupied city of Mosul for refusing to be sex slaves.
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