Inside Islamic State's Brutal Campaign against Iraq's Yazidis
During the past two years, the war against the Islamic State has taken a toll on the people of Iraq.
According to the United Nations, nearly 19,000 Iraqis have been killed and 36,000 wounded from the start of 2014 through the end of October last year.
Many Christians have suffered because of ISIS, but few Iraqis have suffered worse treatment by the Islamic State than the Yazidis.
Yazidis believe God gave control of the world to seven angels. They do not believe in hell. Consequently, ISIS considers them devil worshippers.
Christians, on the other hand, are often spared from death because ISIS views them as "people of the book," the Bible.
Although ISIS has killed some Iraqi Christians and has seized their possessions and homes, the Yazidis have been subjected to even more severe persecution. ISIS has murdered many of their men and has taken Yazidi women as sex slaves.
Last year, CBN News brought you the story of a young Yazidi woman we called 'Shanar.' In August 2014, ISIS jihadists captured her as she fled Sinjar Mountain. They put her with about 100 other Yazidi girls, including some as young as 10 years old.
"They were forcing the girls to convert to Islam and then marry ISIS members. They beat our legs, heads and arms, demanding all of us to serve them, or be used as sex slaves," Shanar told CBN News.
She said ISIS fighters came to the house and offered the girls money for sex and many of them were sold for as little as $1.
"They were really determined to harm us. They abused us and took pleasure in it. Most of us wanted to die," Shanar recalled.
Some of the girls attempted suicide to escape the abuse. An alarming number succeeded.
ISIS forced thousands of Yazidis from their homes, and many of them ended up in refugee camps like one we visited in northern Iraq.
ISIS captured Yazidi Falah Hassan in Mosul, but he later escaped after witnessing the murder of a friend and other Yazidi men.
Yazidi Jamil Cheto lives alone in the same camp. ISIS kidnapped his wife and four of his 11 children. Eventually, they were rescued and now live in Germany. But other family members were not as fortunate.
"They were surrounded by seven or eight cars full of Daesh. They arrested all of them," Cheto recalled. "They took the girls and the women, but then they blindfolded the rest of the family, including my brother, my brother's wife, cousin, and daughter-in-law and they killed all of them right there."
Cheto hopes to see his surviving family members again, after the city of Mosul is liberated by the Iraqi military and its allies.
And now that the city of Ramadi has been re-taken from the Islamic State, planning has begun for a new major military offensive – this time against ISIS in Mosul.