Report: ISIS selling Yazidi women in Syria
(CNN) — It took U.S. airstrikes against ISIS positions, airlifts of U.S. and international aid, and rescue efforts by Kurdish Peshmerga forces to help thousands of Yazidis escape imminent danger from ISIS forces in northern Iraq.
But the nightmare continues for hundreds of Yazidi girls and women, unable to get out of harm’s way, who are being being sold by ISIS to its fighters in Syria, according to a human rights group.
In the past few weeks, ISIS has distributed or sold about 300 Yazidi girls and women it abducted in Iraq, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group aligned with the opposition in Syria.
In ISIS’ eyes, the girls and women are “slaves of the spoils of war with the infidels,” the Syria monitors said.
According to the human rights group, the terrorists sold the girls and women for about $1,000 each, claiming they had converted to Islam so that they can marry ISIS fighters.
The human rights group documented at least 27 cases of women who were sold and married to ISIS militants in the Aleppo suburbs, Raqqa suburbs and Al-Hassakah.
ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State, was previously referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Attacks in Iraq
At least three Iraqi soldiers were killed Saturday in a suicide car bombing south of Iraq’s capital, police said, dealing a blow to the military in that area for a second straight day as government forces fight ISIS militants across the country.
Seven other soldiers were injured in the attack, which happened at an army checkpoint in Yousifiya, a predominantly Sunni Muslim area about 35 kilometers (22 miles) south of Baghdad, police in Baghdad said.
It wasn’t immediately clear who conducted the bombing.
The blast came a day after nine Iraqi soldiers and Shiite Muslim militiamen were killed in clashes with suspected ISIS militants in nearby Mahmoudiya, a Sunni Muslim community about 29 kilometers south of Baghdad.
During the height of Iraq’s insurgency last decade following a U.S.-led invasion, Yousifiya and Mahmoudiya, along with the town of Latifiya, made up the Sunni area known as the “Triangle of Death” because it was an al Qaeda stronghold and a lair for criminals.
Iraqi forces under a Shiite-led regime, as well as ethnic Kurdish forces, have been battling ISIS, a Sunni Muslim extremist and terrorist group that this year took over large portions of northern and western Iraq and eastern Syria for what it calls its new caliphate.
Well before ISIS made gains, Iraq was beset for years by sectarian violence, with Sunnis feeling politically marginalized under a Shiite-led government since the U.S.-led ouster of longtime leader Saddam Hussein in 2003.
CNN’s Jomana Karadsheh and Mariano Castillo contributed to this report.