‘Save my five daughters from Islamic State’: Shia Turkmen woman to SDF

Sukriye Mihemed

Sukriye Mihemed, a Shia Turkmen woman who was recently saved from the Islamic State (IS) group by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has asked them to find five of her daughters kidnapped by the jihadist group in Iraq.

The five women were kidnapped as they tried to escape the jihadist group’s onslaught on majority Turkmen Iraqi city Tal Afar in June 2014. An onslaught Mihemed herself barely survived.

“My five daughters and I were trying to reach Shingal mountain,” Mihemed told Kurdish media, “We left Tal Afar and were stopped by Daesh [IS] in a small village near the mountain. They locked my daughters into cars and kidnapped them.”

“I was screaming and begging them to leave us alone. They took away my daughters. Eventually, I was standing alone, suffused with tears.”

The 59 year-old woman says she searched for her daughters and eventually tracked them down in IS’ de-facto capital in Syria, Raqqa, but was then captured herself until the SDF took the outskirts of the city recently.

Mihemed said hundreds of people had been massacred, thousands enslaved and tens of thousands forced to flee after the IS invaded Shingal, Mosul and Tal Afar.

“Thousands of Shia and Yazidi women were captured and enslaved by Daesh,” Mihemed said, referring to the group by its Arabic acronym, adding, “the Kurds and Turkmens have experienced the most suffering of the century.”

“I ask for help from the SDF, save my daughters as you saved me and many others,” Mihemed said.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is comprised of majority Kurdish-Arab but also Turkmen and Assyrian fighters, launched the Wrath of Euphrates operation in November 2016 to liberate Raqqa from the IS group. The operation is now 4km away from the city centre according to war monitors.

(Reporting by Nazim Dastan/Dihaber)