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Syria Kurds return 25 Yazidis freed from IS to Iraq

AFP  |  Qazlajokh 

Syrian on Saturday repatriated 25 women and children from Iraq's Yazidi minority after freeing them during the final push against the Islamic State group, a said.

The US-backed fighters say they rescued some 300 Yazidi women and children during the fight to take the jihadists' last scrap of territory in eastern

"Today, we will hand over 25 people -- 10 women and 15 children -- to the in Sinjar," said Ziyad Rustam, an with the group Yazidi House, which reunites rescued Yazidi children with surviving relatives.

"They will be sent to their families," he told AFP.

At the headquarters, women wearing colourful robes collected children scampering around the compound before boarding busses bound for Sinjar, the Yazidi heartland.

"The fate of my three sisters remains unknown... I don't know anything about them," said 17-year-old

"I hope we will be reunited soon."

Iraq's are a symbol of the suffering caused by the Islamic State group during its rein over vast swathes of and

The jihadists stormed through Iraq's northwest in 2014 slaughtering thousands of men and boys and abducting women and girls to be abused as sex slaves.

But they have since lost all of the once-sprawling cross-border "caliphate" to multiple offensive.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces last month announced the defeat of the IS proto-state after tens of thousands of people streamed out of the jihadists' last patch of territory, around the village of near the Iraqi border.

Rustam said SDF had in total liberated 850 Yazidi women and children during its battles against IS since 2015.

But 3,040 are still missing, he said, adding that the search for them was ongoing.

Rustam said the jihadists had "sold many of them to people inside Syria, in places like Idlib", most of which is held by a former affiliate.

Some of the extracted from IS's last sliver of territory are being held at the Al-Hol camp, which also houses jihadist family members.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 13 2019. 17:50 IST
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