Daesh attacked Yazidi villages four years ago, killing and capturing thousands of people. Farida Abbas Khalaf, one of the captured Yazidi women who was sold into sexual slavery, recalls the horror of her experience.

Yazidi women in their traditional costumes hold pictures of those killed in the attempted genocide perpetrated by Daesh.
Yazidi women in their traditional costumes hold pictures of those killed in the attempted genocide perpetrated by Daesh. (TRTWorld)

Iraq's Yazidi religious minority is marking the attempted genocide of their people by Daesh four years ago.

Farida Abbas Khalaf is a Yazidi who was separated from her male relatives and sold into sexual slavery. She has now returned to her village Kocho for the first time since she was captured by Daesh. 

She was raped, tortured and beaten for four months until she managed to escape.

"I was in their captivity and I know how difficult it is to be there, a day feels like a year," she said. "We prayed every day that the day would pass without beating or torture or rape."

TRT World's Abubakr al Shamahi has more.

Daesh atrocities

Daesh swept into Sinjar, the ancestral homeland of the Yazidis near the Syrian border in August 2014, after capturing the northern city of Mosul and declaring what it called an Islamic caliphate in large areas of Iraq and neighbouring Syria. 

Tens of thousands of Yazidis escaped to Mount Sinjar, where most were eventually rescued by US-backed forces.

Many of those who were unable to leave, like Abbas Khalaf, were subject to horrific abuse.

The Yazidis are an ancient religious minority, branded as devil-worshippers by Daesh, which declared that Yazidi women and even young girls could be taken as slaves.

Over the past three years, Syrian and Iraqi forces have gradually driven Daesh out of nearly all the territory it once held.

But the group still maintains a presence in the Syrian desert and remote areas along the border.

At least 3,000 Yazidi women, girls and children are still unaccounted for. Abbas Khalaf says they are never far from her mind.

Source: TRT World