Many of the Yazidi refugees said that when ISIL had taken control of most of the Nineveh Province in Northern Iraq in early August, they and their family members had to walk continuously over the span of several days in the blistering August heat to escape from the militants.
Although the refugees who spoke with media were fortunate enough to escape safely, many of them recounted how their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters were either killed or are now missing after being caught by ISIL militants.
One unnamed Yazidi mother said that although she made it safely to her refugee camp, it was not before ISIL got a hold of much of the rest of her family, whom she has not heard from since.
“We left Sinjar through the hills. We walked for seven days and seven nights. We had no food and no water,” the Yazidi mother said. “The ISIL caught my two sons, my father, and two of my sisters. I have no news from them and I don’t know if they are even alive.”
Although the mother does not know of the status of the rest of her family, she does know, from first-hand experience, about the cruel nature of ISIL’ operations and their barbaric treatment of children and babies.
“ISIL are crazy people. They even cut the throats of the babies,” the mother asserted. “They want us, the Yazidis, to convert to (what they call) Islam, but we refuse. As long as we are not in their hands, we survive. We prefer to die instead of being their slaves.”
A Yazidi man named Tahysn, who was once happily married with two preschool-aged sons, said now all that he has left of his family is just a mere picture on his cellphone.
When ISIL took over Tahysn’s Nineveh Province village, he was not in town at the time. However, he called his family and warned them to leave. But, he said, as they were fleeing to Mount Sinjar militants caught up to them and killed them all.
“My older brother, my father, my mother, my wife and even my two sons were killed,” Tahysn claimed. “The Daesh are just savages. They do not respect religion or humanity. They are not humans. Even animals have more pity.”
An 8-year-old Yazidi girl named Azin, said she could possibly now be an orphan since ISIS caught up to her parents and she does not know their whereabouts now. Although her parents were taken on the first day of the family’s escape, Azin said she continued the journey by herself and, like the aforementioned unnamed mother, had to walk for seven days just to reach Kurdish protection.