Report: ISIS selling Yazidi women in Syria
(CNN) — The nightmare of ISIS persecution continues for hundreds of Yazidi girls and women who were abducted by the Sunni Muslim extremist group and are being sold to its fighters in Syria, according to a human rights group.
In the past few weeks, ISIS has distributed or sold about 300 female members of the persecuted religious minority who were abducted in Iraq, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group aligned with the opposition in Syria.
In ISIS' eyes, the girls and women are "slaves of the spoils of war with the infidels," the Syria monitors said, adding that the terrorists sold them for about $1,000 each, claiming they had converted to Islam so that they can marry ISIS fighters.
The human rights group documented at least 27 cases of women who were sold and married to ISIS militants in the Aleppo suburbs, Raqqa suburbs and Al-Hassakah.
Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled to Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq as ISIS fighters made deadly advances on their villages. They became trapped on the mountain, leading to air drops of water, food and other supplies, and eventually airstrikes to dislodge ISIS from the area. Peshmerga forces managed to help most of the Yazidis escape into Iraqi Kurdistan.
U.S. President Barack Obama declared an end to the ISIS siege at Mount Sinjar on August 15, citing the success of the airstrikes.
Since early August, nearly 122,600 people in the Sinjar district -- mostly Yazidis -- have taken refuge in Kurdistan, according to USAID.
A U.N. report warned of increasing kidnappings by armed groups in Mosul and the area of Mount Sinjar.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that some of the victims reportedly have been forced to convert to Islam and have been trafficked by the terrorist groups inside and outside of Iraq.
A number of villages in Sinjar remain besieged by ISIS and other armed groups, the refugee agency reported.
ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State, was previously referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Attacks in Iraq
At least three Iraqi soldiers were killed Saturday in a suicide car bombing south of Iraq's capital, police said, dealing a blow to the military in that area for a second straight day as government forces fight ISIS militants across the country.
Seven other soldiers were injured in the attack, which happened at an army checkpoint in Yousifiya, a predominantly Sunni Muslim area about 35 kilometers (22 miles) south of Baghdad, police in Baghdad said.
It wasn't immediately clear who conducted the bombing.
The blast came a day after nine Iraqi soldiers and Shiite Muslim militiamen were killed in clashes with suspected ISIS militants in nearby Mahmoudiya, a Sunni Muslim community about 29 kilometers south of Baghdad.
During the height of Iraq's insurgency last decade following a U.S.-led invasion, Yousifiya and Mahmoudiya, along with the town of Latifiya, made up the Sunni area known as the "Triangle of Death" because it was an al Qaeda stronghold and a lair for criminals.
Iraqi forces under a Shiite-led regime, as well as ethnic Kurdish forces, have been battling ISIS, which this year took over large portions of northern and western Iraq and eastern Syria for what it calls its new caliphate.
Well before ISIS made gains, Iraq was beset for years by sectarian violence, with Sunnis feeling politically marginalized under a Shiite-led government since the U.S.-led ouster of longtime leader Saddam Hussein in 2003.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh and Mariano Castillo contributed to this report.
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