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Children of Yazidi Women Raped by ISIS Men Banned from Community

The offspring of Yazidi women captured, raped and impregnated by Islamic State terrorists have been barred from joining the community in Iraq, according to a decision by the faith’s Supreme Spiritual Council. Some 500,000 Yazidis lived in the mountainous Sinjar region in northwestern Iraq until ISIS decimated the minority group as it gained control of large swaths of the country in 2014. Jihadists murdered thousands of Yazidi men, forced young boys to join their ranks and abducted Yazidi women to use as sex slaves. Those children born to female captives have been the subject of fierce debate in the community, which recognizes children as Yazidis only if both parents are members of the sect. Many Yazidi women kidnapped by ISIS have escaped in recent years – although an estimated 3,000 remain unaccounted for – and dozens more were rescued during the months-long assault that resulted in the fall of Bahgouz, the terror group’s last stronghold in Syria. Earlier this month, Iraqi President Barham Saleh proposed a bill to provide Yazidi survivors of ISIS crimes with reparations and to establish a special court to clarify “civil status” issues.