Wafa Abbas, a Yazidi girl, has been reunited with her family after being abducted as a child and held captive by the Islamic State (ISIS) for eight years.
Wafa was just nine years old when ISIS militants captured her from Kocho village in Sinjar (Shengal), Kurdistan Region of Iraq in 2014.
She and her deaf sister (then 13), and 70 other Yazidi girls were taken to a slave market in Mosul and sold on to other Islamic State (ISIS) members.
Wafa was sold on seven times, finally ending up in al-Hol refugee camp in northern Syria. Throughout this ordeal she was repeatedly raped by numerous ISIS militants.
She was forcibly converted to Islam, and forbidden to speak in her mother tongue. She can no longer remember how to speak in her native Kurdish. The fate of her sister is still unknown.
The Women’s Protection Units (YBJ), a component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), found and rescued Wafa during the second phase of their ‘Humanity and Security’ campaign against ISIS sleeper cells in the al-Hol refugee camp.
She is now finally at home and reunited with her family, thanks to the actions of the SDF forces.
Al-Hol Camp is home to tens of thousands of ISIS detainees and internally displaced families. It is believed that many Yazidi women and children are among the residents of the notorious camp, afraid to reveal their true identities due to death threats from ISIS militants.