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Life is no different for Refugees who fled Islamic State Terrorist Group, Trail of Ghastly Trauma Continues

Across this camp of more than 30,000 displaced people, families had stories of ruined relationships and lives, property destroyed and ghastly trauma

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At this camp about 50 kilometers away from the nearest fighting, families say they fled Islamic State militants sometimes several times, and when they arrive at camps like this, there is a long wait for shelter in Iraqi Kurdistan, Oct. 20, 2016. VOA
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Without prompting, 10-year-old Maha rattled off her story as if she had told it several times before: Her father is in jail now, she said, after he was attacked by Islamic State fighters and later accused of joining them.

“He was beaten so bad he couldn’t walk,” she said to anyone who would listen.

Across this camp of more than 30,000 displaced people, families had stories of ruined relationships and lives, property destroyed and ghastly trauma.

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On Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said forces are moving faster than expected toward Mosul, where Islamic State (IS) militants have been in control of the country’s second-largest city for more than two years.

Already short of food, clean water and medical care, camps surrounding the Islamic State controlled areas are bracing for a wave of people that could turn this humanitarian crisis into a humanitarian disaster, in Iraqi Kurdistan, Oct. 20, 2016. VOA
Already short of food, clean water and medical care, camps surrounding the Islamic State controlled areas are bracing for a wave of people that could turn this humanitarian crisis into a humanitarian disaster, in Iraqi Kurdistan, Oct. 20, 2016. VOA

Despite fears that a million more people may soon flee the city, cracking an already strained aid system, displaced families here said, for them, the final battle cannot come soon enough.

“We hear from the people we know still in Mosul, that they just want Islamic State militants to be gone at any cost,” said Umar, a former autoworker who went back into IS territory when the militant group demanded that residents working out of town return or their families would be killed. He gathered his children and fled.

“They are ready for the militants to get out, at any cost,” he repeated, about ridding Mosul of IS.

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Layla, a mother of three, has been living at the camp for three months. Her two daughters, ages 15 and 16, are being held by IS after they were kidnapped, and her son, accused of being an IS member, is in prison.

“When Mosul is free, I will go on camera and tell everything,” she said.

Without any natural shelter, the sweltering summer will soon turn into a cold winter and aid workers say they don’t have enough housing for the expected influx into the region of approximately one million people, in Iraqi Kurdistan, Oct. 20, 2016. VOA
Without any natural shelter, the sweltering summer will soon turn into a cold winter and aid workers say they don’t have enough housing for the expected influx into the region of approximately one million people, in Iraqi Kurdistan, Oct. 20, 2016. VOA

Unprepared

The Debaga camps, about 50 kilometers from the nearest battleground, are filled to capacity, said Rzgar Abed, a senior manager with the Barzani Charity Foundation at the camps.

The displaced keep coming, Abed said, and the camps are not prepared to handle a large influx of traumatized, desperate people. Many wait days, or even a week, just to get a tent or a mattress after they arrive, he added.

However, delaying the rush of people by leaving IS in place would be worse than the looming crisis, he said.

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“As long as the operations drag on, there will be more displaced families,” Abed said. “Winter is soon coming, and it will be a big problem. We can’t provide homes for all of them.”

His organization and others are scrambling to get funding for emergency camps, he added.

“The Mosul campaign, in a worst-case scenario, is expected to be the largest and most complex humanitarian operation in the world in 2016 due to mass forced displacement of people fleeing military operations,” the International Organization for Migration said on its website Thursday.

Over the next 45 days, the organization is planning on overseeing the building of 7,500 plots to house displaced families. Initially, these structures will only offer the most basic services, such as shelter, water and sanitation, the organization said.

Children here readily describe horrors, like loved ones being kidnapped or beaten by IS and later being arrested and imprisoned in suspicion of supporting the group by the militants’ enemies in Iraqi Kurdistan, Oct. 20, 2016. VOA
Children here readily describe horrors, like loved ones being kidnapped or beaten by IS and later being arrested and imprisoned in suspicion of supporting the group by the militants’ enemies in Iraqi Kurdistan, Oct. 20, 2016. VOA

But with no where left to run, residents of the camp insist the only way out of the disaster is not more aid, but for IS militants to be defeated.

Outside an old schoolhouse, now packed with newly arrived women and children, 27-year-old Ibrahim explained that for families like his, there will never be a resolution.

His 19-year-old brother joined the IS militants for reasons he didn’t understand and later threatened to kill his family. Their father was livid, shouting at his son for even considered joining the group.

“If he is killed in the battle, I will cry,” Ibrahim said. “But he went willingly.” (VOA)

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The Son Of The Islamic State leader al-Baghdadi Dies: IS

Al-Baghdadi's fate is still unknown

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This image from video posted in July purports to show Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Iraq, July 5, 2014. Islamic State media has announced the death of the leader's son.
This image from video posted in July purports to show Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivering a sermon in Iraq, July 5, 2014. Islamic State media has announced the death of the leader's son. VOA

The son of the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died in a suicide attack mission in the city of Homs in western Syria, according to the IS media al-Nashir News.

Posting the photograph of a young boy, purportedly Hudhayfah al-Badri, al-Baghdadi’s son, the outlet said he lost his life in an operation against the Russian forces deployed in Homs and the Syrian government forces, referred to as Nusayriyyah by IS.

“Hudhayfah al-Badri (may Allah accept him), the son of the Caliph (may Allah safeguard him), was killed in an inghimasi [suicide] operation against the Nusayriyyah and the Russians at the thermal power station in Homs Willayah,” the news outlet reported.

Inghimasi refers to suicide operations in which a fighter, clad with explosive belt and armed with regular weapons, attacks an enemy position before detonating himself to inflict as much damage on the enemy as possible.

The U.S. military said it has seen the reports of al-Badri’s death but declined any confirmation.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on an attack on forces outside the Coalition. We have nothing more to provide,” U.S. Central Command told VOA.

An Iraqi national, al-Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim Awad al-Badri, announced the Islamic State caliphate in the city of Mosul in June 2014 and made himself its caliph. The leader has since become the world’s most wanted man, with a $25 million bounty on his head.

Islamic Terrorism in NYC
Bicycles and debris lay on a bike path after a motorist drove onto the path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people, Oct. 31, 2017, in New York. VOA

Al-Baghdadi’s fate is still unknown, with various reports claiming his death and injury several times, including a claim by the Russian Defense Ministry that he might have been hit by a Russian airstrike in 2017.

Those claims have been rejected by U.S. officials and the whereabouts of the elusive leader remain unknown.

Al-Baghdadi’s infamous role in IS has put a spotlight on his family. In March 2014, al-Baghdadi’s wife, Sujidah al-Dulaimi, was released, along with her two sons and daughter, in exchange for 13 nuns taken captive by al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front militants.

Also read: Will the Latest Message From Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Provoke New Attacks in the West?

It was reported that only the girl was al-Baghdadi’s daughter. The two boys belonged to a man his wife had married before meeting al-Baghdadi. (IANS)