ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Sunday announced that the number of Yezidis (Ezidi) freed from the so-called Islamic State since 2014 has reached over 3,300.
The KRG’s Coordinator for International Advocacy, Dindar Zebari, made the announcement in a statement. Zebari said 3,371 Ezidis had been rescued from the grips of the terror group since it emerged in mid-2014.
The emergence of the Islamic State and its violent assault on Iraq’s Ezidi-majority city of Sinjar (Shingal) in August 2014 led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of members of the Ezidi community and the killing of thousands.
According to Zebari, the Islamic State had kidnapped 6,284 Ezidis, among them 3,467 females, and 2,717 males.
Since then, the KRG has used every resource available to find and rescue them, creating a special committee with an allocated budget for information gathering and to follow-up on the missing cases, he added.
“The government offers money as a reward for the rescue of Ezidi women and information regarding their whereabouts,” Zebari stated.
“Furthermore, the KRG has established special social programs for their psychological rehabilitation to ease and assist in their reintegration.”
The Kurdistan Region has provided a haven for millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees of different ethnic and religious background who fled the Islamic State’s threat in northern parts of Iraq and Syria.
The autonomous Kurdish region has often been applauded for its religious tolerance and coexistence, considered a sanctuary for minority groups in Iraq and neighboring countries with a government that does not implement the forced return of displaced persons and refugees.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany