Families Escape from ISIS at Omar Qamshi, 11 Miles from Mosul
27 October, 2016
Kurdistan, Northern Iraq
Today 35 families were rescued from ISIS today in Omar Qamshi, 11 miles North East of Mosul. Yesterday we went with the Kurds (Peshmerga) as they drove ISIS out of the town and today the families emerged from where they were hiding about a half mile from our former position. “We thank the Peshmerga for liberating us, living under ISIS was very bad,” said Aziz, a doctor with eight children. We met the family of the man who told us yesterday about his relatives who were trying to escape during the Peshmerga attack on Omar Qamshi. We prayed with them and thanked God that they were safe. The 35 families of around 200 people, were taken by the Peshmerga troops to a holding area where we and the soldiers gave them water and tried to comfort them. Most were very afraid and seemed in shock by their liberation and the nightmare that they had lived under. We gave them some water and tried to assure them that we and the Peshmerga were their friends. Very quickly the children opened up and began to smile and play with us. After they all had food and water they were screened for ISIS members at a temporary camp nearby for those displaced by the offensive.
Two of the villagers were identified as ISIS members who were trying to hide among the IDPS. They were arrested and taken away by the Peshmerga. In the town of Fazzalia, three miles away we were told there were over 1,000 men, women and children still held by ISIS. Many of the people of the Nineveh plains below Basheeqa are Sunni of the Shabak tribe and some whom had already joined the terror group. While the Sunni are the major group in the plains of Nineveh there are also Shia, Turkmen, Kurds, Yizidi, and Christians; all of these latter people persecuted by ISIS. Because many Sunni joined or supported ISIS it is often very hard now for others to trust them and the areas that are considered liberated. To instill that trust the Peshmerga tries to screen out ISIS members from among the displaced. They are doing a good job and as the Peshmerga Captain in charge of the 35 families in Omar Qamshi told me, “ We will help them no matter who they were under before but we want to find the ones that are ISIS. The ones who are not we will care for as if they are our own people.”
We will continue the mission here and try to help the people as they escape ISIS as well as provide medical care for the Peshmerga as they move to liberate this area east of Mosul.
Thank you for praying for us and helping us,
God bless you,
Dave and the FBR team here in Kurdistan