Turkish security units saved 3 Ezidis in last 18 months
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
With the latest rescue operation in the Turkish capital, the number of the Ezidis rescued from terror groups has increased to three within the last 18-month period.
According to the information obtained by Anadolu Agency, Turkish intelligence and police units conduct operations both within the country and abroad to rescue those in need.
During the last 18 months, at least three Ezidis were rescued from ISIL terror group, said security sources speaking on the condition of anonymity due to media restrictions.
The number of those rescued Ezidis would be much higher if the date backs further, added the sources.
Ezidis, a minority ethno-religious group in Iraq, have suffered frequent persecution - most recently at the hands of the ISIL terrorist group, which overran much of the country in mid-2014.
However, smaller groups of Ezidis also live in Turkey, Syria, Iran, Georgia and Armenia.
On Feb. 24, security forces captured a senior ISIL terrorist and rescued an Ezidi girl in an operation carried out in Turkey's capital Ankara.
As the terrorist was apprehended in a joint operation by the police and the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), a 7-year-old Ezidi girl abducted from Iraq was rescued by Turkish forces and handed over to the provincial social services authorities, the sources added.
Aside from ISIL terrorists, the Ezidi community in Iraq has organized multiple protests against the PKK, demanding the return of children abducted by the terror group, and urged the Iraqi administration to intervene.
Terror group ISIL attacked Sinjar district on Aug. 3, 2014, and killed or detained thousands of people, including children and women.
The PKK terror organization managed to establish a foothold in Sinjar in 2014 under the pretext of protecting the Ezidi community from ISIL terrorists. Some 450,000 Ezidis fled Sinjar after ISIL took control of the region.
However, the Sinjar deal, inked between Baghdad and Erbil under the auspices of the U.N. on the status of the region, envisages clearing the region of the PKK terrorists.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK - listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU - has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
In 2013, Turkey became one of the first countries to declare ISIL a terrorist group.
The country has since been attacked by the terror group multiple times, with over 300 people killed and hundreds more injured in at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks, and four armed assaults.
In response, Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks.
Security sources further noted that Turkey, through its intelligence and security units, also rescues other nationals through its cross-border operations.
Country's intelligence service helped rescue 170 hostages in international operations over the past 11 years, told security sources last June.
In May 2020, the MIT helped rescue a kidnapped an Italian aid worker, Silvia Constanza Romano, 25, in Somalia. Romano was abducted in Kenya's southeastern coastal town of Chakama in Kenya in November 2018.