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Hundreds of Women Kept As ISIS Sex Slaves Escape Captivity, Join Army To Fight Terrorist Group: 'We Will Do Whatever is Asked of Us'

( [email protected] ) Feb 09, 2016 02:36 PM EST
Hundreds of Iraqi women who were tortured and kept as sex slaves by the Islamic State have escaped and joined the Kurdish forces to exact revenge on the terrorist group.
A Yazidi woman who fled Sinjar Mountain re-enters Iraq from Syria at a border UNICEF

Hundreds of Iraqi women who were tortured and kept as sex slaves by the Islamic State have escaped and joined the Kurdish forces to exact revenge on the terrorist group.

According to a report from Fox News, a number of the 2,000 Yazidi women who escaped ISIS after their mountain stronghold was attacked in August 2014 recently signed up to fight against the jihadist group. So far, 123 women -- dubbed the "Force of Sun Ladies" -- are officially fighting alongside Kurdish Peshmerga forces, while another 500, ranging in age from 17 to 37, are waiting to be trained.

"Now we are defending ourselves from the evil; we are defending all the minorities in the region," said Capt. Khatoon Khider from the unit's makeshift base in Duhok, Iraq. "We will do whatever is asked of us.

"We have a lot of our women in [nearby] Mosul being held as slaves," she added. "Their families are waiting for them. We are waiting for them. The liberation might help bring them home."

While under ISIS captivity, many of the women were ordered to convert to Islam, subjected to forced marriages and repeatedly raped, while girls as young as 8 years old were sold as sex slaves.

Thousands of women starved to death or died of heatstroke, while a number of others deemed too old or young to be sold into sex slavery were killed off by the terrorist group.

One mother who gave birth while an ISIS slave revealed that militants forbade her to feed her newborn son, and then beheaded the infant after he cried.

"Women were throwing their children from the mountains and then jumping themselves because it was a faster way to die," Khider recalled. "Our hands were all tied. We couldn't do anything about it.

"Whenever a war wages, our women end up as the victims," she added.

Several women escaped after being sold as sex slaves, while others were ransomed back to their families. The majority of the women escaped, however, when coalition forces pounded ISIS from the air and broke its siege of Mount Sinjar.

"Now there will be terrorist Yazidis, something that never used to be," Khider told Fox. "But we have many missions left. We will do whatever is needed."

In its English propaganda publication, "Dabiq," ISIS sought to justify its treatment of females, saying it is permissible under early Islamic law to capture and forcibly make "heretical" women sexual slaves.

"Before Shaytan [Satan] reveals his doubts to the weak-minded and weak hearted, one should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shari'ah that if one were to deny or mock, he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Qur'an and the narration of the Prophet ... and thereby apostatizing from Islam," the publication read.

A New York Times report from August 2015 also revealed that ISIS has "emphasized a narrow and selective reading of the Quran and other religious rulings to not only justify violence, but also to elevate and celebrate each sexual assault as spiritually beneficial, even virtuous."

The report, based on interviews with 21 women and girls who escaped IS' captivity in Iraq, noted that the jihadists believe that raping children and young girls serves as a "prayer" to God.

Before her death earlier this year, 26-year-old U.S. hostage Kayla Mueller was reportedly forced to have sex with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, senior Islamic State leader who was killed in a U.S. raid last year, U.S. intelligence officials told her family in June.

On Monday, al-Baghdadi's wife, Umm Sayyaf, was officially charged in federal court with holding Mueller hostage and with contributing to the aid worker's death. According to an FBI affidavit, Umm Sayyaf said that al-Baghdadi would occasionally stay at her home and that he "owned" Mueller during those visits, which the FBI says was akin to slavery.