- George Colli Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau
WASHINGTON—A former ISIS sex slave, speaking during a Senate hearing Monday, pleaded for the United States to fight and eliminate the Islamic State before the terror group wipes out minorities in Iraq and Syria.
Nadia Murad, a Yazidi from Northern Iraq, detailed her experiences to help lawmakers understand the ideology of ISIS and how to fight the terrorist organization going forward.
"(ISIS) will not give up their weapons unless we force them to give up their weapons," Murad said.
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Murad brought the Senate Homeland Security committee through the horrific day ISIS fighters took over her ethnically Kurdish village in August 2014.
She said within hours, more than 700 people were executed. She said the men and older women were killed while young women and children were forced to be sex slaves. Those killed included six of her brothers and mother. In all, 18 of her family members were killed or are missing.
“The first thing they did in Mosul, after distributing us to the fighters, was take us to the court and have us convert by putting (a) hand on (the) Koran,” the 21-year-old Murad said through a translator.
Murad said she was sold off to ISIS fighters as a sex slave. She says she was repeatedly raped, sometimes by groups of men.
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“It is true I was raped and sold and abused but I was lucky because girls at age 9ne were raped as well,” Murad said. “I was freed but I do not enjoy the feeling of freedom because those who committed crimes have not been held accountable.”
Hassan Hassan, a resident fellow at the Tahir Institute for Middle East Policy, said the Islamic State's realistic goal is regional dominance but it has hopes of expanding to the West. He said despite the U.S. making progress on the ground in Iraq and Syria, the group is in it for the long term.
“They want a war of attrition. They want to exhaust the West, exhaust everyone else,” Hassan said. “Ten years ago, we were fighting Americans in Iraq with Americans having an appetite to fight. Ten years later, President Obama had little appetite to fight us and 10 years from now the appetite will be even less.”
The hearing is one in a series being held by the Senate Homeland Security committee featuring experts and people impacted by the rise of the Islamic State.