Skip to main content

How this Yazidi man is saving IS captives

Yazidi families in Iraq are paying thousands of dollars to smugglers who rescue their members from the Islamic State’s grip.
A Yazidi boy, 16, who was trained by Islamic State, wraps his head in a scarf as he stands by the fence of a playground at a refugee camp near the northern Iraqi city of Duhok April 19, 2016. The stories of boys from the minority Yazidi community now living in a refugee camp near the northern Iraqi city of Duhok appear to show efforts by Islamic State to create a new generation of fighters loyal to the group's ideology and inured to its extreme violence. The training often leaves them scarred, even after re
Read in 

It had been the hundredth time he heard the ringtone that day. The middle-aged man, who wears rectangular glasses and a black mustache, immediately answered his phone. A rescue operation is in the making.

“Even the Islamic State [IS] knows my phone number now,” Hassan said as he hung up his mobile. “They don’t like me very much,” he added. And with good reason: His job is to free Yazidis kidnapped by IS.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.