ISIS victims call for justice during international forum in Syria

“We call for a fair trial to punish all ISIS commanders and criminals and to compensate the family of the martyrs.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Victims of the so-called Islamic State from different backgrounds who survived attacks and massacres at the hands of the terror group called for justice during an international forum on Saturday in the Kurdish town of Amude in northern Syria.

The three-day event was organized by the Rojava Strategic Research Center (NRLS). It was called the “International Forum on ISIS: Dimensions, Challenges and Strategies for Confrontation.” The NRLS previously organized an international conference on Afrin last year.

The forum brought together Kurdish victims from the Kurdistan Region, Kobani, Sinjar (Shingal), and Suruc. Moreover, Islamic State victims from Jordan, France, and the Druze city of As-Suwayda in Syria also spoke at the forum.

Many victims of the Islamic State fear crimes by the terror group could go unpunished.

Soad Khalef, a young Yezidi (Ezidi) woman, was kidnapped when the Islamic State invaded and carried out a genocide in Shingal in August 2014. The terror group kidnapped and massacred untold numbers, and thousands of women were forced into sexual slavery.

Khalef recalled the painful memory of how she was brought to Syria and sold 10 times by Islamic State terrorists in Raqqa’s central square. “Three times I want to commit suicide,” she said. “They were torturing us.”

She was eventually freed and joined an Ezidi unit, as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which helped liberate Raqqa from the Islamic State’s rule.

“My decision was to take revenge for all the thousands of [enslaved] Ezidi women,” Khalef said.

As a victim of the Islamic State, the best solution is to put members of the terror group on an international trial because it “will prevent ISIS from returning,” she stated.

Makbula Ezidiya, another Ezidi victim of the Islamic State, said the terrorists should be put on trial and sentenced for their crimes.

Sibel Isik, a Kurd from Turkey who survived the 2015 Suruc bombing the Islamic State carried out which killed at least 33 people, agreed.

“The Kurds suffered from them, many children were left without a trial,” Isik said. “This is a crime; Da’esh [Arab acronym for ISIS] should be put on trial here in Syria.”

Several parents of Peshmerga fighters who were martyred in the fight against the terror group after the Islamic State attacked the Kurdistan Region in August 2014 called on the international community to put Islamic State fighters on trial.

“We call for a fair trial to punish all ISIS commanders and criminals and to compensate the family of the martyrs,” the father of one of the martyred Peshmerga fighters said.

Jawdat Safi, the brother of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh who was seen burned alive in Raqqa in January 2015 in a horrific video the Islamic State published, said the family should be compensated financially.

“We are ready to attend the trial to punish anyone who contributed to his death,” Safi said, adding that those responsible should be brought to justice.

Tribes in Deir al-Zor also suffered at the hands of the Islamic State.

Nasr Osman, a leader from the al-Shuytat tribe, said Islamic State members killed over 700 people in August 2014 during a massacre against the community when they resisted the terror group’s brutality.

“We call on the international court to put those perpetrators on trial in the name of the tribes in northern Syria,” he said.

Many European countries have supported a call by the SDF to set up an international tribunal to put foreign Islamic State fighters on trial.

However, practical steps have not been taken to set up such a court.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany