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Texas NGO Reaches out to Help ISIS Rape Victims While AIDS Spreads in Islamic State Fighters and Region

( [email protected] ) Jun 24, 2015 08:16 PM EDT
A Texas-based nonprofit organization has worked alongside a humanitarian aid group to treat victims who were raped by the terror group known as ISIS. Such rapes and other forms of sexual violence directed at women and girls have also contributed to the spread of AIDS.
A displaced woman and child flee violence from ISIS in Sinjar, Iraq. CNS Photo

A Texas-based nonprofit organization has worked alongside a humanitarian aid group to treat victims who were raped by the terror group known as ISIS. Such rapes and other forms of sexual violence directed at women and girls have also contributed to the spread of AIDS.

A press release issued by ISSENet Desk reported that Texas-based Lodestar Solutions International, or LSI, sent out a team of three people to help a humanitarian aid group of doctors and nurses with medical supplies to treat rape victims of ISIS. One of the members described the horrible states of the victims, who escaped ISIS control and fled to northern Iraq; some victims were as young as 8 years old.

"When they arrived, they were in very poor shape, some of the younger ones could barely walk," an LSI member said. "It took days for a couple of them to even have the strength to speak. They had massive infections, and long untreated injuries, and just- almost- just too horrific to describe."

The ongoing rapes against women by ISIS fighters have also contributed to the spread of AIDS in the Middle East. A Syrian human rights activist group called Sound and Picture reported that although ISIS prohibited both unprotected sex and the sharing of drug needles, the spread of HIV continued.

"In the beginning we discovered one case in the immigrant who carries the Indonesian nationality, and that happened when he was donating blood at one of the IS hospitals," an ISIS militant with the alias Abu Qatada said.

Qatada claimed that the Indonesian militant knew he was infected, but passed the virus on to his 15-year-old Yazidi slave, who was later sold to an Egyptian militant. He too was tested and found to have HIV in his blood.

"[The Indonesian militant] was sentenced to death by IS for harming IS members," Sound and Pictures wrote, citing Qatada.

Sound and Picture managed to talk with the doctor administering the AIDS tests in ISIS-controlled territory in Syria. He asked to remain anonymous.

"Almayadeen City didn't have a center for AIDS tests before," the doctor said. "However, after the control of IS, it brought materials and equipment from Iraq to Syria, and it also stressed on the need to check each drop of blood which is transferred to IS members."

Qatada told Sound and Picture that two other ISIS militants from Saudi Arabia tested positive for AIDS after "both had sex with the Yazidi girl." He also noted that even a top ISIS emir could have been infected as well.

LSI stated in its press release that not all rescue efforts of women and girls from ISIS control and rape have been successful. It recalled a story back in April where one girl in a group had a cell phone to contact her family on an escape plan.

"In spite of the fact that ISIS fighters made it clear that any communication with the purpose of escape would mean death to those involved, the girls were determined to get away," LSI wrote. "An LSI-led rescue and evacuation plan was in process, but fell apart when the cell phone was found and 10+ girls were killed while the family listened and watched via the same cell phone that had been used to try and escape."

LSI emphasized that although its staff consisted of military and former special operations veterans from the United States and the United Kingdom, it was "not a combative organization."

"The organization operates very low profile in the shadows as a rescue and aid organization," LSI wrote.

LSI contended that it was "one of few reputable organizations working to aid victims of ISIS."

"Every member believes in the cause of helping young women and girls escape a life of horrors," LSI wrote.

The NGO has placed a donation link on their website for those interested in helping the efforts to treat and rescue women and girls from ISIS control.

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