Kurds ‘paying’ to save Yazidi women enslaved by ISIS

Internally displaced Yazidi women warm themselves by a heater inside their tent at a refugee camp in Bamarny village in Dahuk of the Kurdistan region. (File: AP)

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) claimed on Thursday that it had “paid” to save Yazidi women held as sex slaves by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported.

ISIS militants “buy” the women for as little as $50 and then sell them for $2,000 - $2,500, KRG General Directorate of Yazidi Affairs Minister Hadi Doubani told the Turkish daily.

“There are still around 3,500 Yazidis held as sex slaves and hostages by ISIL,” he said.

“We are trying to work out ways to save them. There are some Sunni Arabs in the ISIL-controlled areas who are cooperating with us.

We pay money for the kidnapped girls who ISIL sell and these people buy them for us,” Doubani explained.

As the radical group pushed through the Iraq’s Sinjar province in August 2014, ISIS militants raided Yazidi villages and kidnapped hundreds of women.

The United Nations confirmed in 2014 that ISIS had carried out massacres and mass sexual enslavement against the Yazidis, who they say are infidels.

Doubani said some ISIS militants have turned the “selling and buying of Yazidi women in the slave markets” into a “trade.”

“They sell women in the slave markets, some ISIL [ISIS] militants buy a girl for $50 and sell her back to us for $2,000-2,500. They have almost turned the whole thing into a trade,” he added.

According to Doubani, the officials have had to pay between $1,000 and $10,000 to free the Yazidis.

“They ask for more money for the youngest girls,” he said.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:55 - GMT 10:55