ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Forces arrested several hundreds of Russian and Azerbaijani Islamic State (IS) women, a Kurdish lawmaker revealed on Wednesday.
“512 Russians and 200 Azerbaijani women as [IS] members were captured and incarcerated by Iraqi forces,” Viyan Dakhil, a Kurdish Ezidi lawmaker in the Iraqi parliament tweeted on her official account.
She did not give further details regarding the nationality or number of other foreign IS women.
Iraqi security officials stated in September that they had arrested 1,400 foreign wives and children of suspected IS fighters in the country.
Most of the women came from Turkey, Russia, Tajikistan, and Azerbaijan, as well as Europe and Asia according to an Iraqi intelligence source.
The identity of many of the detained IS women have yet to be verified as they do not have their original documents, a security official told Reuters.
“We are holding the Daesh families under tight security measures and waiting for government orders on how to deal with them,” said Army Colonel Ahmed al-Taie, using the pejorative Arabic acronym for IS.
“We treat them well. They are families of tough criminals who killed innocents in cold blood, but when we interrogated them we discovered that almost all of them were misled by a vicious Daesh propaganda,” he added.
The jihadist group emerged in northern Iraq in the mid-2014 and quickly expanded to other provinces, including Salahaddin, Anbar, Diyala, and Kirkuk. Many foreign citizens joined the group to wage jihad, including women.
Since then, they have lost most of the territory, with only a few remaining pockets in the western Anbar province.
Editing by Nadia Riva