Category Archives: Islamic State (ISIS)

How one Yazidi family was saved from IS by an Arab tribal leader

Publication: The New Arab

DUHOK, Iraq- ​It’s been three years since the Islamic State group attacked her village in the district of Sinjar, but Nadine Naif remembers it like it was yesterday.

The 47-year-old mother of three was in her house in Tel Banat when an IS militant came to their home, pretending that he wanted to help them. “Stay here. In the evening I will come back to take care of you,” the fighter urged them. Continue reading How one Yazidi family was saved from IS by an Arab tribal leader

‘Mijn vrienden zijn nu in de hemel’ Kindsoldaten van IS

Publicatie: Groene Amsterdammer

Honderden jezidi-jongens werden door IS getraind om voor de terreurgroep te strijden of om zelfmoordaanslagen te plegen. Sommigen wisten te ontsnappen. Zij leven nu in opvangkampen in Noord-Irak, waar de hulp grotendeels ontbreekt.

SNEAKERS, EEN T-SHIRT en een modern kapsel. Op het eerste gezicht lijkt Majdal een doodgewone jongen, maar zo voelt hij zich al lang niet meer. Alles wat stond voor zijn kindertijd werd vernietigd toen Islamitische Staat (IS) in augustus 2014 zijn woonplaats Kocho met geweld binnenstormde. Majdal werd gescheiden van zijn moeder en zussen en naar Raqqa gebracht. Continue reading ‘Mijn vrienden zijn nu in de hemel’ Kindsoldaten van IS

Yazidi boys forced to fight for IS still need psychological help

Publication: Al-Monitor 

DAHUK, Iraqi Kurdistan — Majdal, a 14-year-old Yazidi teenager wearing a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, looks like an ordinary boy but does not feel like one anymore. His childhood was destroyed when the Islamic State (IS) invaded his hometown Kocho in August 2014. Like other Yazidis, Majdal was separated from his mother and siblings. He was brought to a military camp in Raqqa. “Forget your faith, family and past. From now on, your name is Abu Otman and you are Muslim,” the leader of the camp told Majdal. Continue reading Yazidi boys forced to fight for IS still need psychological help

The Yazidi men left behind: ‘ISIL destroyed us’

Publication: Al Jazeera

Duhok, Iraq – Salem Khalaf, a 63-year-old tractor driver, vividly recalls the day in August 2014 when ISIL fighters attacked the Sinjar region. Upon hearing that the group was drawing near and that security forces had fled, Khalaf and other Yazidi men sent their families away, while they remained in place, taking upsmall arms to defend their homes. Continue reading The Yazidi men left behind: ‘ISIL destroyed us’

Sold for $60: Yazidi children describe cruel life as IS slaves

 Publication: Middle East Eye
 DUHOK, Kurdistan Region of Iraq – Umm and Abu Ahmed could not have children of their own. So when the middle-aged Sunni couple from Mosul heard the Islamic State (IS) group was selling Yazidi orphans, they decided to take one in. For $500, they bought five-year-old Ayman.

Abu and Umm bought all kinds of toys for Ayman, changed his name into Ahmed, taught him how to memorise the Quran and enrolled him in a local school. For 18 months, they raised him like he was their own son. Continue reading Sold for $60: Yazidi children describe cruel life as IS slaves

For many of Iraq’s Yazidis, going home is not an option

Publication: Al-Monitor 

DAHUK, Iraqi Kurdistan — When Nadine refused to marry the 25-year-old Islamic State fighter from Yemen, he took her daughter Ronia instead. Right in front of Nadine’s eyes, he tore the clothes from her daughter’s body. Then he raped the 10-year-old girl.

“Mommy, help me, my little girl cried. Ronia was so young that she didn’t even know what sex was,” said Nadine, who belongs to the ethno-religious Yazidi minority, sitting in a tent she built herself in the countryside of Dahuk. Continue reading For many of Iraq’s Yazidis, going home is not an option

Mosul’s children and the lasting scars of conflict

Publication: The New Arab

MOSUL, Iraq- Mohammed was only 11 years old when he saw how two men were beheaded by Islamic State militants. It was at one of the many IS checkpoints in the city of Mosul, where Mohammed and his friends were hanging out.

“The sword went up. Walk away now, I told myself, but I felt paralysed. After the beheadings, I dizzily walked away, leaned over and puked up my breakfast,” said Mohammed, now 13. Continue reading Mosul’s children and the lasting scars of conflict

De moordvrouwen van IS

Publicatie: Trouw

HIGHLIGHT: Nu het kalifaat afbrokkelt, gaat IS vrouwen inzetten voor aanslagen. Niet alleen in het Midden-Oosten, ook in Europa, verwacht Brenda Stoter.

Terreurgroep Islamitische Staat (IS) wist in korte tijd tienduizenden jihadisten uit alle delen van de wereld aan zich te binden. Die toestroom veranderde het jihadisme. Mannen die zich voorheen bij terreurorganisaties als Al-Qaida aansloten en op jihad gingen naar Pakistan, Tsjetsjenië of Afghanistan, deden dat bijna altijd alleen. Continue reading De moordvrouwen van IS

As IS loses power, will group tap women jihadis to fight?

Publication: Al-Monitor

AMSTERDAM- The glory days of the so-called caliphate are over. For the past two years, the Islamic State (IS) has suffered severe losses on the battlefield, and it seems only a matter of time before its largest stronghold, Mosul, will also fall. The operation to liberate Raqqa, IS’ de facto capital, was announced on Nov. 6. While the caliphate is shrinking and IS loses ever more manpower, a question arises: Will the traditional roles of female jihadis change?  Continue reading As IS loses power, will group tap women jihadis to fight?

‘Mijn zoon zal zijn straf accepteren’

Publicatie: Trouw

HIGHLIGHT: Mohamed Nidalha hoopt dat zijn zoon Reda snel naar Nederland kan komen. Maar zo simpel is dat niet na zijn ontsnapping uit IS-gebied.

Reda Nidalha dook deze week op voor de camera’s van de BBC. Hij heeft IS de rug toegekeerd. Maar een consulaat of ambassade kan hij niet bereiken. En een spijtoptant wordt door Nederland niet uit IS-gebied gehaald. Sinds het BBC-filmpje van zijn zoon woensdag op het internet verscheen, rinkelt de telefoon van Mohamed Nidalha Continue reading ‘Mijn zoon zal zijn straf accepteren’

How this young Yazidi is bringing hope to IS victims

PHOTO: Free Yezidi Foundation
PHOTO: Free Yezidi Foundation

Published: Al-Monitor

AMSTERDAM — Pari Ibrahim, 27, was a regular law student in the Netherlands who had a job in a library until she received a phone call at 5 a.m. in August 2014 that would change her life forever. A family member from northern Iraq called to inform her that the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) had invaded Sinjar and had killed the men and kidnapped the women and children Continue reading How this young Yazidi is bringing hope to IS victims

The making of an Islamic State terrorist

Published: Al Monitor

LEIDEN, Netherlands — In the private video Mohamed Nidalha showed of his son, Reda, the young man is seen partying. The 19-year-old dances and raps to loud hip-hop music, while behind him, a girl dressed in a tight top cooks something in the kitchen. A bottle of liquor sits on the table. People are smoking. It is an unremarkable video, one that anyone would expect to find on a teenager’s cell phone. Continue reading The making of an Islamic State terrorist

Het stille leed van de Yezidi-vrouwen

‘Niemand hier heeft haar man nog. We zijn helemaal alleen’

DUHOK– Duizenden Yezidi-vrouwen werden het afgelopen jaar door Islamitische Staat (IS) tot slaaf gemaakt en verkracht. Een deel wist te ontsnappen. Zij keerden terug naar Noord-Irak: ziek, gebroken en ernstig getraumatiseerd.

Artikel geplaatst in MO*. Om het te lezen, open deze link: MO118-082_YEZIDIVROUWEN (2)

Islamic State’s female bloggers draw European women to Syria

Publication: Al Monitor

AMSTERDAM — When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in June, he called on Muslims around the world to be a part of it. The invitation extended to preachers, engineers, judges, doctors and people with military and administrative experience, basically every Muslim who wanted to play a role in the creation of a new Islamic caliphate, including women.

Initially it was widely believed that young women who were lured to Syria by the Islamists had gone there to provide sexual services to members of the Islamic State (IS). It was later revealed, however, that the women who join IS primarily fulfill traditional roles, such as taking care of the household. Mary, the mother of Vanessa, a 19-year-old Dutch woman who joined IS in August, underlined that women generally have noncombatant roles. Continue reading Islamic State’s female bloggers draw European women to Syria

The silent grief of the Yezidi women

Publication: MO* (also translated in Dutch and French).

Over the past year thousands of Jezidi women were made a slave and raped by Islamic State (IS) fighters. Some of them got away. They returned to Northern Iraq: ill, broken and severely traumatised.

The temperature is over 30 degrees, but Aniya is shivering. Now and then she wipes the sticky sweat off her forehead with her black headscarf or firmly rubs her hands. ‘He raped me’, she says at the beginning of the conversation, Continue reading The silent grief of the Yezidi women

Articles about the Middle East & Europe (English and Dutch)