An Iraqi woman who gave birth to a child after being sexually assaulted by ISIS fighters has shared why she chose to keep her baby - and why she will never tell him about his father.
"He's my son, he's not the son of ISIS," Umm Al'aa, 40, told CNN.
She shared how ISIS took over her hometown in 2014. While her neighbors supported the fighters, she and her family refused to pledge allegiance to the group, making them a target.
The fighters regularly came to her home to threaten the family into submission. And one day, her young daughter was attacked during one of their visits.
"They came and beat [her]. They tore off her headscarf, they ripped her clothes. They said: 'Let's rape her.' But one of them, the top guy, the big one, he did not allow them to. He said: 'We want the mother,'" she told the outlet.
One day, Umm Al'aa was cornered at the market one day and forced to get into a car by ISIS militants. Like thousands of others before her, she was made into a sex slave and lived as a prisoner for a year and a half. Near the end of her captivity, one of the militants decided to beat and rape her.
"I tried to fight, I cried a lot. There was a lot of pain, I was beaten a lot, but I couldn't do anything," she narrated.
Uma Al'aa was eventually released by ISIS, traumatized and pregnant. However, instead of letting her horrific experiences control her, she decided to move on and forget her experience. She named her baby Mohammed, after her late husband, who was killed in the battle between Iraqi-led forces and ISIS fighters.
"He loved me a lot. My best memory of him was how much he loved and respected me. Yes we are poor people, but we were happy," she said.
After overtaking large swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014, ISIS abducted thousands of men, women and children from the Christian and Yazidi minorities. While the men were given an ultimatum: convert to Islam or be killed, the women and girls were frequently sold to fighters as sex slaves or given as "prizes." The group repeatedly justified its treatment of females, saying it is permissible under early Islamic law to capture and forcibly make "heretical" women sexual slaves.
Many of the women and girls have been forced to undergo abortions leaving them unable to move or speak, freed Yazidi girls have revealed.
Bushra, a 21-year-old Yazidi girl who escaped ISIS, told CNN in an earlier report that she witnessed two doctors invasively examine girls to find out if they were already pregnant. Those found to be expecting were forced to abort their babies.
"One of my friends was pregnant," Bushra recalls. "Her child was about three months in the womb. They took her into another room. There were two doctors and they did the abortion.
"Afterwards, they brought her back. I asked her what happened and how they did it. She said the doctors told her not to speak."
The abortion left her friend bleeding heavily, and in so much pain that "she could not talk or walk."
"She was the first. After that, they took the pregnant women and put them in a separate house," Bushra said.
Before her death earlier this year, 26-year-old U.S. hostage Kayla Mueller, an outspoken Christian, was reportedly forced to have sex with the head of the Islamic State Abu Bakr Baghdadi, U.S. intelligence officials told her family in June.