Yazidi women

The Price Of Freedom: Syrians Smuggle Yazidis From IS, At A Cost

Sunni Arab smugglers in Syria are helping to rescue Yazidi women and girls abducted from northern Iraq by Islamic State (IS) militants, but often charge large sums of money for their services, Yazidi activists say.

“It’s a sort of rescue operation,” says Murad Ismael of the Yazidi NGO Yazda, which works to support displaced Yazidis in Iraqi Kurdistan.

But for Yazidi captives fortunate enough to get the chance, such a rescue often comes at a price. Fees vary: Ismael says some smugglers have reportedly charged as much as $15,000, though most demand around $1,000 per captive.