If the U.S. Wanted To, It Could Help Free Thousands of Enslaved Yazidi Women in a Single Day

Matthew Barber 3

by Matthew Barber

 

The plight of thousands of Yazidi women, kidnapped by the Islamic State (IS) during its August 3 attack on Iraq’s Sinjar mountains and in the following weeks, has received some media attention, but most people are unaware of just how far-reaching this disastrous phenomenon is. Boko Haram kidnapped girls in the hundreds, prompting international outcry and an online campaign demanding that they be freed; IS has kidnapped Yazidi women and girls in the thousands in a sexually-motivated campaign  that has rent apart countless families and wrought unimaginable levels of pain and destruction.

During the Syria conflict there have been numerous allegations of forced jihadi marriages that have been difficult to confirm, and widely denied by IS supporters online. Many of those stories were dropped, lacking credible evidence. As the past few years in Syria have demonstrated, rumors run rampant in contexts of conflict, and the initially difficult-to-confirm cases of kidnapped Yazidi women of this summer have been treated with appropriate caution.

Despite this initial caution, the sheer scale of the kidnapping of Yazidi women and the firsthand reports of escaped survivors—and those still in captivity via telephone—have made details of the phenomenon, and its sexual motivations, certain.

Having stayed in northern Iraq all summer, I can confirm the assertions of the journalists who have written about the problem. I have worked directly with those involved in rescue efforts and have personally interacted with families whose daughters have been kidnapped and are now calling their relatives from captivity.

I have no trace of doubt that many women have been carried off and imprisoned; the question that remains is about the numbers. Restrained estimates have posited numbers of kidnapped Yazidi women in the hundreds. However, the reality is likely to be in the thousands.

Though the picture is grim, if the US is willing to back up its overtures of support for Iraqis and Kurds with action, we have the ability to help quickly free a large percentage of the kidnapped Yazidis.

 

Yazidi refugee women in the Dohuk governorate

Yazidi refugee women, young and old, share their fears and sorrows with me in an empty warehouse now housing their families. Photo: Matthew Barber/Syria Comment 

 

The enslavement phenomenon is real

Yazidi leaders and volunteers have been working over the past month with families whose female members were kidnapped, and they have been able to piece together a much clearer picture of the numbers—and locations—of the kidnapped women.

It is no longer a secret that many of the kidnapped women still have their cellphones with them and are calling their families. Many of their captors haven’t even taken steps to prevent this; in some cases jihadists have exploited this contact as a means to sow further terror, in other cases the new “masters” are allowing their “slaves” to have contact with family as they seek to incorporate the kidnapped woman into a slave’s household role with certain privileges and duties.

By speaking with kidnapped women and girls by telephone, and by speaking with the families receiving calls, Yazidis working on the problem are beginning to form more accurate counts of incarcerated women in various places.

It is also no longer a secret that extensive rescue operations are underway, through the participation of local Arabs and Muslims in the communities where the girls are entrapped. Some have been able to purchase girls from IS jihadists and then return them to their parents. Others have been able to escape on their own.

Other kinds of rescue efforts are underway as well. A Yazidi friend I’ve been working with in Dohuk arranged for a group of gunmen to be paid to carry out a rescue operation in one Iraqi city, far to the south of Mosul, where girls had been taken. They broke the girls out of the house where they had been imprisoned by their jihadist “owner” and carried them to safety. Those who conducted the operation are Sunni Arab fighters who do not align with IS (and who are willing to conduct such an operation in exchange for compensation).

These particular girls were transported halfway across the country, placed in the house of their “acquirer,” and made to cook and clean. The new “master” told them: “You are our jawari [slaves taken in war], but don’t worry, you will become as our own women,” meaning that they would be integrated into the household and live as the other wives.

One of the rescued girls was only 15 and was tortured for resisting the demands of her captor for sex. Another suffered such severe psychological trauma due to the kidnapping, subsequent rape, and being shipped across Iraq that she is now very ill.

Attempts to find a religious justification

The philosophy underpinning the taking of Yazidi slaves is based in IS’ interpretation of the practices of Muslim figures during the early Islamic conquests, when women were taken as slave concubines—war booty—from societies being conquered.

Though they have robbed them of their wealth, IS has not targeted the Christian community in the same way that they have the Yazidis. As “People of the Book,” Christians are seen as having certain rights; Yazidis, however, are viewed by IS as polytheists and are therefore seen as legitimate targets for subjugation and enslavement, if they do not convert to Islam.

Many discussions will continue regarding the similarities and differences between IS’ methods and the actual practice of the early Islamic community. Historical context will be discussed by scholars, and God’s intentions will be parsed out by those with a theological bent. But regardless of how our contemporaries interpret the past, IS’ attempts to recreate and relive a period in which slaves were taken in war have shattered families that now reel in pain after their children have been snatched away from them.

First moment of pause: After fleeing the violence and kidnapping in Sinjar, a teenage Yazidi girl sits & cries upon arriving in her new home—a school classroom in Zakho. Photo: Matthew Barber/Syria Comment

First moment of pause: After fleeing the violence and kidnapping in Sinjar, a teenage Yazidi girl sits & cries upon arriving in her new home—a school classroom in Zakho. Photo: Matthew Barber/Syria Comment

 

Is this the Islamic State or just bands of local criminals?

The online jihadists (or “ehadists”) that defend IS on Twitter and Facebook have had three options in how they respond to this shocking moral collapse. The first is to deny that the kidnapping of Yazidi women and forcing of them into sexual slavery (“concubinage”) is occurring.

But despite the denial of IS supporters on social media, these are not rumors, but cases to which I’m personally connected. Journalists have attested to the same phenomenon in their reporting (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10), and I spent the summer making contact with Yazidi families who have endured this scourge.

The second option for IS supporters on social media is a line of argumentation that acknowledges this trend of sexual slavery while attempting to justify it as a form of revenge for oppression of Sunnis (which, ironically, Yazidis have never participated in—rather, they were victims of some of the highest levels of al-Qaida violence during the Iraq war, as well as previous targets of religious persecution).

The third argument, coming from some IS supporters, claims that this sick and deplorable pattern is not occurring at the hands of the IS membership itself, but is rather the action of other local Sunnis who are opportunistically taking advantage of the war-chaos to rape, pillage, and kidnap. I have also been perplexed by the question of IS’ methods and behavior and have felt a need to understand the fact that they work according to specific ideals and a strict religious code for behavior, yet often seem to act outside of what such a code would permit. They are not alien creatures but human agents with aspirations of state building who even demonstrate acts of compassion. Christians who fled one Iraqi town described to me how IS fighters provided food for their elderly and disabled Christian relatives who were not able to flee, and then later transported them to an area near Kirkuk where they would be able to rejoin their relatives. How are we to reconcile these humane instances of goodwill with the apparent criminality and destruction that is so pervasive with IS?

Regardless of how we come to understand the IS movement psychologically, this third argument—that responsibility for all repugnant acts lies only with local, self-seeking, non-IS actors, and not with IS fighters—is patently false.

It is certain that many local actors have stepped in and plundered their neighbors’ wealth during IS attacks on new areas. However, I have confirmed with multiple eye-witnesses who were present upon IS’ initial Aug. 3 attack of Sinjar, including Sunni Muslims, that the operation of separating women from men and carrying the women off in trucks was conducted by the IS fighters themselves and was carried out as soon as the fighters reached the area.

Muslims trying to flee Sinjar city described to me how, even before reaching the city itself, fighters conducting the initial attack intercepted fleeing families on the road, stopping their vehicles and taking the female passengers—if they were Yazidi. The campaign to seize female Yazidis and enslave them as concubines is an Islamic State project.

US airstrikes could quickly free several thousand Yazidi women and even entire families

Kidnapped women have been transported all over the Sunni regions of Iraq, and into Syria. The location with the highest number of kidnapped is likely Mosul itself. Rescue efforts for many of these women will take years. Some may never return. Some may remain in captivity and reemerge at some distant point in the future. Others will continue to be rescued or escape in the near future.

Despite the enormous challenge of responding to such a monumental tragedy, the possibility exists of freeing a very large number of those kidnapped in a short time. I’m referring to around 2,000 kidnapped Yazidis currently imprisoned in towns and villages in the vicinity of the Sinjar mountains.

Just south of Sinjar are a number of sites where kidnapped Yazidis are being held. Through phone conversations with captured victims, Yazidi leaders in the Dohuk governorate who are working on the problem have been able to get counts and exact locations for most of them. In over a dozen primary holding sites within at least six separate towns, approximately 2,000 Yazidis are trapped. Most of these contain just women, but at least one site contains entire families that have been kidnapped, including male members.

One man I spoke with lost seven family members: his daughter, her husband, and their five children were nabbed by IS in one fell swoop. They were able to contact him once and inform him of their location, but contact was severed after that.

Most of these kidnapped people know where they are. They’re in familiar territory, not far from Sinjar. If their captors were subjected to an aerial campaign—an intense helicopter assault on IS targets for as little as a half-hour—most of these people would be able to flee. The attacking force wouldn’t even be required to regain control of these towns, they would only need to occupy the moderate numbers of IS fighters in the area. The window of distraction would allow many to escape.

Prior to the Kucho massacre (in which IS jihadists lined up and shot all Yazidi males of the town, on Aug. 15), my contacts inside the town (no longer alive) said that every time a US airstrike occurred on nearby IS positions, the IS militants would run for cover. This was without the IS stronghold in Kucho itself being attacked. Kucho was more isolated and even in those moments of distraction the flight of the townspeople wasn’t possible. But for the large numbers of Yazidis currently imprisoned just south of the city of Sinjar, a different outcome is possible.

US airstrikes could also be conducted while coordinating with the newly formed “Yazidi Forces for the Protection of Sinjar,” local volunteers that have been working with the Peshmerga, trying to defend the remaining parts of Sinjar not captured by IS, and hoping to regain their own villages and towns. If a more sustained aerial campaign was undertaken to combat IS in Sinjar, these local Yazidi forces could cooperate in joint rescue efforts and help free many of the enslaved.

Let’s get as many back as possible

Though US airstrikes were conducted to prevent IS from pushing into Dohuk and Erbil (without which I estimate IS might have reached Dohuk in as few as two days), no sustained campaign has been undertaken to facilitate the Kurdish re-taking of Sinjar. People are confused as to why, and I have no answers.

What I do know is that without greater US air support, 1) Sinjar will not be regained by Kurdish forces and the people of Sinjar will not be able to return home, and 2) large numbers of Yazidi women who might otherwise be freed will continue to be sold by IS jihadists as sexual objects. The Dohuk governorate is bursting at the seams with hundreds of thousands of Yazidi and Christian refugees, who, following those that already fled three years of conflict in Syria, have pushed the area’s capacity for refugees beyond its breaking point. Schools should be opening for local children this week, but they cannot, because hardly any school exists in the entire governorate that doesn’t have several families sleeping on the floors of every room.

Sinjar is the population center for the largest segment of Yazidi people in the world. The Yazidi religion is also inextricably linked to holy places in Sinjar. If they are unable to return, it will do lasting damage to one of the Middle East’s last non-Abrahamic minorities, and thousands of victimized women will remain enslaved in 2014. Let’s do what it takes to get these people safely home and free of the most selfish form of evil I’ve personally witnessed in my life.

Comments (42)


1. Besta said:

Thank you for the article and your reporting.
I will pass the link to your article to various blogs and to my own Senators and Congresswoman. This needs to be publiczed everywhere.
The slavery of women even in the midst of war is beyond any rational appeal to ancient history, religion. It is a evil that cannot be tolerated and must be stopped.
If the recue of these women can be done in this area of Iraq, then the US has a moral responsibilty to do this now.

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September 16th, 2014, 11:23 pm

 

2. ALAN said:

“the US has a moral responsibilty to do this now.”
be careful what you are talking about … This is like someone looking for honor in brothels.
Since when morality was included as a priority among policy makers in Washington?
Where is morality of America toward the mass murder of children in Gaza by the Zionist army?
United States lacks the moral credibility, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan has the worst record in modern history.

http://youtu.be/nJsNG7UeIhY?t=1s

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September 17th, 2014, 5:48 am

 

3. Syrialover said:

This is important first-hand reporting and insights by MATTHEW.

It deserves to be vaulted ahead of other intelligence and journalistic sources.

I hope many others here will do what BESTA (above) is doing.

Enslaving and raping women is what these debased criminals and thrill seekers do. Their “holy warrior” brothers did it Mali and we are seeing them do it in Nigeria.

Let’s face it, that’s why many of these human failures are attracted to the movement.

And let’s make sure they are legally and publicly branded as violent sexual offenders, kidnappers and thieves when things get too hot and they try to flee back home.

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September 17th, 2014, 5:52 am

 

4. Syrialover said:

And LET’S NOT FORGET, NEVER, that countless thousands of Syrian women have had their lives destroyed by the Syrian regime’s policy of rounding up and raping women as part of its “collective punishment” in communities and as an instrument of torture in its prisons.

ISIS and the Assad regime are all part of the same filthy tribe. Their members have lost all right to a place in normal human society.

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September 17th, 2014, 6:04 am

 

5. Syrialover said:

Oh ALAN, I worry you have such poor information and understanding of how the world works outside Putin-land! Or even what goes on inside Putin-land.

Even just reading the “Conspiracy Gazette” should give you more reasonable perspectives than you show us in your posts.

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September 17th, 2014, 6:21 am

 

6. Observer said:

It is ironic that Britain is going to destroy IS after the killing of a British aid worker and it did not say anything when a British Doctor died in the dungeons of the regime. Was it because he was of Pakistani origin or was it because regime atrocities are acceptable?

The hype is back and the exaggerated threats are back and ignoring the fact that there is a Sunni Shia war is going to be calamitous for the US in the region and the world.

We have no dog in this fight. This is a fight for the soul of Islam between barbarians amongst themselves be they Sunni Shia or Alawi or anything else.

We have no obligation to go and immerse ourselves in this mess. The nail of one US soldier is not worth sacrificing for a region deeply embedded in hatred and sectarianism and tribalism.

Beheadings and burrying people alive and drills to the head and burning alive and all of that was practised by everyone and all are to blame.

Lest not forget the British did use chemical weapons the first time in the ME in Iraq against tribes that revolted against new taxations in the 20’s none other than Winston Churchill was responsible for that and when others objected he responded by affirming that there is no need to objecting to the gassing of savages and barbarian tribes.

So barbarity goes around as if depleted uranium rounds and shock and awe destroying water treatment plants is not genocidal killing.

Enoug of this intervention and calls for interventions and the world policeman acting like a bull in a china shop.

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September 17th, 2014, 10:44 am

 
 

8. Syrialover said:

OBSERVER

I suspect you speak out of despair. I respect your comments over the years and have kept and circulated some of them, but here I don’t agree with you.

You are cruelly dismissing the fate of those on the ground who are losing EVERYTHING – even their core identity and future – to unchecked criminality and psychosis (which describes both the Assad regime and ISIS).

“Hatred and sectarianism and tribalism” are what happen in the absence of rational laws and functioning institutions. Laws and institutions way above the capability of the vicious failed dictators that have gripped the Middle East by the throat for decades.

The US is imperfect, exasperating etc. but it’s a crucial part of human history and development, just as the early civilizations in the Middle East were.

If you are sitting comfortably in North America now could be a good time to do some research on what it took, all the furious internal debates and “they deserve what they are getting” arguments like yours flying around, to get the US finally on board for WWI and WWII.

And if the US hadn’t become involved there, do some research on what the alternative outcomes would have been.

One thing for sure is that you wouldn’t have your current civilized, safe and orderly place in the west to sit and dismiss the “barbarians”.

People seem to forget the US was created in relatively recent human history. It happened because people poured into that region from all over the world looking for a chance to build a better future. Then figured out how to do it with rational laws and functioning institutions (but not without going through a terrible war of Independence and even worse civil war).

The US is what it is. But ISIS and Assad and the nasty pseudo-religious dictatorship in Iran are something else.

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September 17th, 2014, 4:55 pm

 

9. ALAN said:

American foreign policy “logic” regarding Syria, Iran and the “Islamic State”
http://radioyaran.com/2014/09/17/american-foreign-policy-logic-regarding-syria-iran-and-the-islamic-state/
What is going on in Syria with regards to the “Islamic State” (former ISIS) is appalling:
The Syrian Army is waging heavy attacks on IS positions everyday, while the US is claiming that IS is a creation of the Syrian government or its “ally”.
At the same time the US considers Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia “coalition partners” in the fight against IS, while all of them have been funding, arming and supporting IS for years.
The US wants to invest even more in the “moderate rebels” of the so called “Free Syrian Army”, an entity that mostly exists on paper and hardly plays a role in Syrias civil war. Now, these “moderates” who are supposed to do the ground fighting have openly declared a “truce” with IS because both want to fight against the Syrian government. The deal was brokered by Al Qaidas affiliate in Syria, the Nusra Front.

So, according to “American foreign policy “logic”:
“Moderate” rebels who work with Al Qaida (Nusra) and make truce with IS = Good
Syrian government that fights Al Qaida and IS = Bad

It becomes even more bizarre:
“John Kerry says Iranian role in coalition…….

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September 17th, 2014, 6:20 pm

 

10. Ghufran said:

The symbolic vote at the Congress will give Obama an opportunity to look tough and decisive but what follows the vote and what happens behind closed doors will tell us whether the president is simply practicing his favorite sport, giving big speeches, or if he is up to something else. Expect air raids against Isis and few YouTube videos showing rebels using American weapons against isis and few more videos displaying ” effective” attacks on Syrian army positions. NATO is not ready to end the Syrian war or reach a settlement with Iran or pressure Israel to accept a Palestinian state, remember the 3 pillars of NATO policy in the Middle East: opposing Iran, supporting Israel and protecting the goat states of the GCC. I see no chance in the near future for any substantial change in NATO policies in the region, what you see today is the direct result of the failure of Arab nations to take care of their homeland, they gave the keys of their homes to NATO, Turkey and Iran.
يا أمة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

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September 17th, 2014, 11:06 pm

 

11. jo6pac said:

Matthew Barber, one I want to say I’m glad you are safe.

who is isis
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUMUUT2Jn8E?feature=player_embedded&w=640&h=360%5D

This reminds me of South America in the late 60s to the early 80s. The death squads were trained by who?

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September 17th, 2014, 11:31 pm

 

12. jo6pac said:

who trains isis

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPtxSztTnRU?feature=player_detailpage&w=640&h=360%5D

If the master would quit feeding the monster most of it would die.

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September 17th, 2014, 11:33 pm

 

13. Jasmine said:

Very sad to learn about this ethnic cleansing ,not surprising that women always suffer the most in war,I hope that your message will get some positive response soon.

Did you want to say ‘that has ripped apart countless families and brought’ in your first paragraph?

Keep safe.

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September 17th, 2014, 11:45 pm

 

14. Hopeful said:

Be safe Mathew, and thank you for all you do. You are a brave and compassionate soul and the world needs you.

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September 18th, 2014, 12:04 am

 

15. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Great Great Great Job !!! Thank you

I have been three times in north Iraq with the yazidis for the last year and I found they were very peacefull and respectable. As much as sunni syrians have always been to me.

IS is a creation of foreign agents from both sides and is being fed by people who live extrem situations under danger of death and with no future or prospects, mostly beduin people who consider Islamization is a superior level of civilization compared to their old bedouin traditions.

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September 18th, 2014, 2:07 am

 

16. SANDRO LOEWE said:

ALAN Coportation of chatters and posters:

You must be congratulated because US is going to help you get rid of IS. Also we, lovers of justice, peace and democracy will be very happy after US ends Assad dictatorship.

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September 18th, 2014, 2:10 am

 

17. Alan said:

Sandro
USA support Israel, Turkey and GCC. We do not trust America.They’re trying to use Iraq’s Kurds to do the dirty work for the interests of USA. The Compass is Israel and in all over the place must look for Israel United States and its ally Israel are playing Dance snakes once on the southern border of Syria and once again the eastern border.

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September 18th, 2014, 9:57 am

 

18. Alan said:

Sandro
USA support Israel, Turkey and GCC. We do not trust America.They’re trying to use Iraq’s Kurds to do the dirty work for the interests of USA. The Compass is Israel and in all over the place must look for Israel United States and its ally Israel are playing Dance snakes once on the southern border of Syria and once again the eastern border

Jo6pac:http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/isis-weaker-looks-balint-szlanko/
Remember! ISIS is acronym for the Official Israeli Mossad Intelligence:
300 Americans, CIA Agents Fighting Within ISIL Ranks in Syria and Iraq: US Political Commentator
https://public.isishq.com/public/SitePages/Home.aspx
http://www.internationalsecurityandintelligenceservices.com/index.html
http://youtu.be/iLqdpMwulPQ?t=1s
***

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September 18th, 2014, 10:10 am

 

19. Alan said:

http://www.tomatobubble.com/id686.html.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding the Present World Situation

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September 18th, 2014, 10:27 am

 

20. jo6pac said:

18. Alan said:

I thought of putting that also but thought it might be to much for the True Believers;)

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September 18th, 2014, 10:45 am

 

21. Alan said:

Something ridiculous that the institution of legislation in the United States is going to sponsor and support the industry and funded terrorism on one hand and on the other hand declares the need to combat terrorism! They have lost the common sense

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September 18th, 2014, 11:23 am

 

22. ALAN said:

AMERICA DON’T WORRY, ISRAEL IS BEHIND YOU

Liberman to Kerry: We’ll Help Fight ISIS 😉

Speaking to US Secretary of State John Kerry, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel was prepared to help defeat Islamic State.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/185243#.VBqNC5SSw2A

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September 18th, 2014, 1:27 pm

 

23. Syrialover said:

ALAN,

Hey, slow down and do a U-turn.

You are exhausting yourself barking about Israel.

But your hero Vladimir Putin has been working to improve his relationship with the Israelis.

And your other hero Bashar Assad failed and failed again to directly stand up to Israel or do anything in response to any of its provocative actions since he became “leader” of Syria.

Even worse, you are giving Israel ridiculous ISIS-controlling magical powers and bizarre agendas (from the “conspiracy Gazette”) instead of criticizing that country for its significant REAL wrongdoings.

So please, put down the “Conspiracy Gazette”, look around, take a break (and give us a break) and maybe start again.

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September 18th, 2014, 4:35 pm

 

24. ALAN said:

Over 3adra today military personnel was shot down drone, which belonged to the rebels. The device was produced in the United States and equipped with modern technology monitoring, including for operation in the dark.

In north east of Aleppo, near the town of Ain ​​Arab groups of radical Islamists ISIS as a result of heavy fighting with Kurdish militias captured 21 villages. The city, in fact, was surrounded by the Islamists. It is also reported on the active participation of the Turkish Armed Forces in support of the terrorists attack.
Such data are not only Kurds, but also a number of independent sources. So according to the available witnesses, Turkish tanks were shelling the positions of the Kurds during their battles with the forces of the IS.
Kurds have confirmed their retreat before perfectly armed and considerably superior strength adversary. PKK leadership and YPG announced the possibility of a massacre of the Kurdish population, urging all Kurds attempt to reflect total genocide.
Private sources also reported that over the occupied areas of Islamists throughout the day actively worked Syrian Aircrafts, identifying targets for strikes on the positions of their groups.
Who operating those radical Islamists ?
Sandro: you said that US are help? maybe they want the continuing of war crimes in every meter sq. of syrian territory by playing snakes dancer? I despise your free civilized world when we see its crimes in shedding the Syrian blood!

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September 18th, 2014, 4:54 pm

 

25. Syrialover said:

Here are Bashar Assad’s employers and masters of Syria doing their favourite thing – lashing and imprisoning young people for dancing and singing to an upbeat, harmless popular song.

It’s obvious ISIS has been learning from Teheran textbooks.

EXCERPT:

The six Iranian singers who were arrested for appearing in a viral video dancing to Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” have been sentenced to six months in prison and 91 lashes.

“The group became famous in May when their music video for the hit song circulated on YouTube, racking up more than 150,000 views before attracting the attention of Iranian authorities.

“It featured three men and three unveiled women singing and dancing along to the four minute song in the street and rooftops of Tehran, mimicking the style of Pharrell’s official video.

“Authorities arrested the group for contravening Iran’s strict vulgarity laws, which prohibit public displays of dancing, and paraded the six on state television, forcing them to express remorse for their behaviour.”

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/11103542/Iranians-sentenced-to-91-lashes-for-Pharrell-Happy-video.html)

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September 18th, 2014, 5:01 pm

 

26. chb said:

Those poor yazidi or christian girls are real, and they’re really victims of terrorists. OK. So they deserve to be saved, with bombs and drones and secret troops that will kill some of them in the process.
Syrian victims of the past three years, no, they’re just doubtful. Al Assad propaganda made up stories of abductions, of murders and of much like cruelty. In Syria, we all know that the only villain is the president (even if he was reelected by over 80% of voters).
So we have to assume that democratic rebels only turned into villains when they crossed the border from Syria to Iraq. But then why should the western coalition bomb ISIS in Syria BEFORE they become bad boys ? I do suspect some foul play here.

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September 18th, 2014, 5:13 pm

 

27. Syrialover said:

Iran’s sick treatment and terrorizing of its own youth (above) is a chilling insight into the mentality and morality of the people who are now calling the shots in Syria at the INVITATION of traitor Bashar Assad.

We know the cruelty, contempt and indifference towards Syrians Iranian militia and military commanders are inflicting in the field (remember that video behind the lines where a smug Iranian commander in a Syrian village says, “there is nobody here, only Arabs”.)

While weak, pinheaded Bashar Assad hides out and hunches over his iPad, grinning to himself and tapping his toes to the song “Happy”.

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September 18th, 2014, 5:23 pm

 

28. Austin Michael Bodetti said:

I hope the best for the women,

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September 18th, 2014, 5:27 pm

 

29. chb said:

Syrialover said: « ISIS and the Assad regime are all part of the same filthy tribe. Their members have lost all right to a place in normal human society. »
Does that mean that Syria is doomed in your prefered human society? Back in 2012, we waited for the « very bad dictator » and his (deluded?) Libyan followers to be eradicated before any of us eventually talked of abandoning the barbarians to their cruel sharia. Our bombing was performed along with some humanitarian propaganda, then.
Now you want to destroy a country altogether with all of its inhabitants just in case none of the Syrians is civilized enough for your taste. What an unpleasant way to deal with the people of Jesus Christ.

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September 18th, 2014, 5:35 pm

 

30. Syrialover said:

CHB your message in #26 and #29 is very confusing.

But it reads like an attempt to excuse Bashar Assad and accuse everybody else.

Quick, please tell me if I’ve got it wrong.

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September 18th, 2014, 5:36 pm

 

31. syrialover said:

A video message about Syria to take to heart: we can’t change what has happened but we can change how it ends.

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September 18th, 2014, 5:43 pm

 

32. SANDRO LOEWE said:

Throughout my uncountable visits to Al Furat or Al Jazeera area (some times it was Al Bab and Manbej, other times it was Maskaneh, Tabqa and Raqqa, most times it was Deir Al Zour and Albu Kamal) I got a good knowledge about bedouin behaviour, conducts, beliefs, traditions and expectations in life.

I see IS as the result of a supratribal structure with high material possibilities, high levels of discipline and high levels of islamization. Money, Order and Islam, three factors bedouin always essentially lacked and maybe because of that have fallen easily in the hands of this milicia organization (whose origins are totally unclear and will reamin unclear for a long time to come).

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September 18th, 2014, 6:18 pm

 

33. chb said:

SyriaLover
I’m glad you find my post confusing indeed. Because it’s rather this criminal & neverending imperialism that confuse us all, with some humanitarian pretense.
How come you take sides with petromonarchies against a Libyan state that was so socially-minded (see UNO statistics)? With ISIS against al Assad for three long years, and then against both ?
What good do you expect from a third bombing rage on Irak after two wars have led to such misery ? Who will be pleased with a Shock & Awe revisited ?? Not me, for i pay for it with my taxes.
Al Assad isn’t a good man, has blood on his hands and so on I don’t care. A majority of the Syrians have chosen him as a president because he fights the ISIS, al Qaeda, the CCG, and the whole western bloody coalition. And he embodies for the time being the only hope of a more peaceful and less sectarian future. Much better than our greedy “Friends of Syria” & ISIS mercenaries. Stop the flow of weapons & money and captagon, and the terror will disappear from both Irak and poor shattered Syria.
Obama & his wardog of a French Hollande that claim al Assad is illegitimate, they do not read the opinion polls for their own lost legitimacy, at home and worldwide.
This whole thing is disgusting.
Since you are SyriaLover, tell me what it is you love in Syria. Landscapes, villages ? Syrians ? History ? Poets ? Or wahhabism?

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September 18th, 2014, 7:15 pm

 

34. Syrialover said:

Dear CHB

Thank you. You have invented all kinds of beliefs and characteristics and attitudes for me that I don’t recognize.

One thing I can tell you – I have people who are very important to my life living inside Syria and I live feeling sick with worry all day every day for over two years. I love them, I love the brave and decent and beautiful Syrian people and I love Syria in a way I don’t think anyone could possibly understand if they are an Assad apologist and propaganda swallower (which you are speaking exactly like – do you realize that?).

Saying Syrians deserve to live with the Assad regime and they freely choose it is saying they do not deserve a life as good as other human beings.

There was deep subterranean terror and cruelty in Syria under the Assads well before Bashar started openly shooting and bombing people in the street and burning the country. It’s how the regime survives. Stopping it has nothing to do with a stopping any flow of outside weapons and money coming in!

And you mention paying taxes in the US or some other western democracy? You must have been living there with blindfold and earplugs in the way you speak, sounding oblivious and confused about how that country works, what it is and what happens there. You could be happier in Syria.

Another thing I can tell you is that I have been in Libya when it was Gaddaffi’s kingdom and I hear a loud warning bell about your lack of knowledge when I read your defense of it.

If you are at all interested (which I suspect you aren’t) in my strong attitude against ISIS and the case for Assad’s complicity in their rise you can check my posts in the archive here: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/search-comments/

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September 18th, 2014, 8:07 pm

 

35. ALAN said:

Torah births the “master race,” chosen to rule over all others. “The law of exclusion” and its dedication to destruction is formed and set in place. Deuteronomy lays out the politics of dominion over all nations (enslavement, owning/using women). All other peoples classified as insignificant, and given all blame, no matter how innocent. Murder, theft and plunder are encouraged in the name of religion and race. Destruction is deified. The concept of nation within nations is born. Blood sacrifice (animal, firstborn, etc) performed to terrorize and warn. Race and religious massacres are acts of the highest piety, rewarded by Jehovah. Jehovah is jealous, wrathful, punitive. Slavery, rape, fanatical tribalism is cultivated. Divide and conquer is perfected.

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September 19th, 2014, 7:48 am

 

36. Mina said:

Today the Turks have managed to get back their hostages from Mosul.
Why can’t they do something for these women? Where are the clerics to speak against so-called djihad and the interpretation of the Sunna by some?
The world does not give a damn about the Nigerian girls or the Yazidi families. In Europe we are fed daily with how important it is to welcome our brethren the Iraqi and Syrian Christians. But no word about Africans or Yazidis.

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September 20th, 2014, 1:58 pm

 

37. sara said:

How can airstrikes free hostages? I believe ISIS commits atrocities but bombs cause mass destruction and casualties. They are not humanitarian.

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September 22nd, 2014, 1:54 am

 

38. Omer said:

Great article.

The article clearly explains how airstrikes can and will (with the will of God) free hostages.

All people of good will should send their US Senators, Representatives, etc this article.

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September 24th, 2014, 3:44 am

 

39. jack said:

Any way we can donate to help with the rescue?

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May 29th, 2015, 4:18 pm

 

40. Matthew Barber said:

Jack,

A Yazidi-run grassroots organization that was formed last year to respond to the needs those women who are escaping from IS (and with whom I participate) is called Yazda: http://www.yazda.org/

This is their current pledge drive: http://www.gofundme.com/rcf9htc

There are also many established NGOs doing work in Kurdistan Province that can be supported. Thanks for you desire to respond.

Matthew

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May 30th, 2015, 12:55 pm

 

41. The Politics of the War on #ISIS: A Marxist Approach | الثورة الديمقراطية، الطراز السوري Democratic Revolution, Syrian Style said:

[…] Daesh’s advancing forces. The peshmerga and YPG took advantage of these strikes and evacuated Yazidi civilians from the mountain. The U.S. then continued its air attacks until Kurdish forces re-took control of […]

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June 18th, 2015, 10:36 am

 

42. Susan harter said:

What can be done now to help these women and girls? Is there a charity you would recommend?

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August 13th, 2015, 7:56 pm

 

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