So says a colleague today while discussing the latest atrocity in Istanbul. I have gathered today for further reflection two unrelated ISIS stories–even as they lose ground in Iraq and Syria, they manage to stay in the news.
First off, our prayers are offered for the victims and loved ones who were affected by the Istanbul airport bombings. The death toll has apparently reached 42 with hundreds injured. You can read the latest at BBC.
Also in the news, an escaped ISIS sex slave testified before Congress about her plight and that of many others. CNN reports that Nadia Murad, a member of the Yaziri ethnic minority in Iraq, appeared before congressmen to describe what is going on:
Speaking about the Middle East’s Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities, she warned that “if they are not protected they will be wiped out.”
Yazidis are ethnically Kurdish members of an ancient religion who live mostly in Iraq.
Murad detailed how she and thousands of Yazidi women and girls were enslaved and raped by their ISIS captors. She recounted how six of her brothers and her mother were executed by ISIS in a single day.
…”I was freed, but I do not (have) the feeling of the freedom because those who have committed these crimes have not been held accountable,” she said.
A UN report released last week estimated that ISIS holds about 3,500 slaves and that the terror group continues to subject women and children to sexual violence, particularly in the form of sexual slavery. The report said ISIS’ actions “may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide.”
This Reuters artice referenced the UN report in January 2016.