Rescued from Islamic State, Yazidi boy longs to rejoin mother in Canada

DUHOK, Iraq (Reuters) - A Yazidi boy rescued from the battlefield in Mosul after three years in Islamic State captivity has asked to be reunited with his mother, who was granted asylum in Canada after escaping from the militants herself.

Twelve year-old Imad Tammo was captured by Islamic State along with his family in the summer of 2014 when the militants overran the Sinjar area in northern Iraq, purging its Yazidi population.

Thousands of Yazidi women were enslaved by the militants, who killed hundreds of adult men and took boys including Imad away for military and ideological training. The United Nations has said it constitutes genocide.

8 PHOTOS
Boy rescued from ISIS longs to reunite with his mother
See Gallery
Boy rescued from ISIS longs to reunite with his mother
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF DEATH AND INJURY Barzan Tammo, the uncle of twelve year-old Yazidi boy Imad Tammo who was rescued from Islamic State militants by the Iraqi army, inspects Imad's injuries in Sina neighbourhood outside of Duhok, Iraq July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
A Yazidi boy, twelve year-old Imad Tammo rescued from Islamic State militants by the Iraqi army, draws in Sina neighbourhood outside of Duhok, Iraq July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Ari Jalal TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A Yazidi boy, twelve year-old Imad Tammo rescued from Islamic State militants by the Iraqi army, plays in the Sina neighbourhood outside of Duhok, Iraq July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
A Yazidi boy, twelve year-old Imad Tammo rescued from Islamic State militants by the Iraqi army, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Sina neighbourhood outside of Duhok, Iraq July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
Barzan Tammo, the uncle of twelve year-old Yazidi boy Imad Tammo who was rescued from Islamic State militants by the Iraqi army, looks at Imad's X-rays in Sina neighbourhood outside of Duhok, Iraq July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
A Yazidi boy, twelve year-old Imad Tammo rescued from Islamic State militants by the Iraqi army, is seen in Sina neighbourhood outside of Duhok, Iraq July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
A Yazidi boy, twelve year-old Imad Tammo rescued from Islamic State militants by the Iraqi army, draws in Sina neighbourhood outside of Duhok, Iraq July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"I want to go to my mother in Canada. I haven't seen her in three years," said Imad, who was wounded in June when a mortar landed near him in Mosul's Old City.

The militant who was holding Imad took him to a hospital, where he was operated on, Tammo said.

As the battle for Mosul drew to an end earlier this month, Imad's uncle received a call saying that his nephew had been found alive by Iraqi forces.

The uncle, who is now caring for him, said he and other relatives had previously contacted smugglers, seeking to buy Imad back, but to no avail.

Asked how the militants had treated him, Imad said:

"Some of them were good and some of them were bad."

His elder brother and father are still missing.

The uncle, Barzan Tammo, said the boy's mother had learned from photographs circulated on social media that her son had been rescued and called him to check if it was true.

"I told her: 'I am standing next to him, you can talk to him'," Tammo said. "She spoke to him, and burst into tears. I told her: 'don't cry, he is free from Daesh and he is fine. He will soon be with you again."

RELATED: Boy reunited with family after being sold by ISIS

10 PHOTOS
Boy reunited with family after being sold by ISIS
See Gallery
Boy reunited with family after being sold by ISIS

Ayman, a boy from a minority Yazidi community, who was sold by Islamic State militants to a Muslim couple in Mosul, hugs his grandmother after he was returned to his Yazidi family, in Duhok, Iraq, January 31, 2017.

(REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

Ayman (C), a boy from a minority Yazidi community, who was sold by Islamic State militants to a Muslim couple in Mosul, poses for a photograph with other children after he was returned to his Yazidi family in Duhok, Iraq, January 31, 2017.

(REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

Abu Ahmed, who bought Yazidi boy Ayman from Islamic State militants in Mosul, shows a picture of Ayman on his phone in Rashidiya, north of Mosul, Iraq, January 30, 2017.

(REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

Iraqi army soldiers stand guard in front of Abu and Umm Ahmed's home, a Muslim couple who bought Yazidi boy Ayman from Islamic State militants, in Rashidiya, north of Mosul, Iraq, January 30, 2017.

(REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

Ayman, a boy from a minority Yazidi community, who was sold by Islamic State militants to a Muslim couple in Mosul, sits beside his uncle Samir Rasho Khalaf (L) after he was returned to his Yazidi family in Duhok, Iraq, January 31, 2017.

(REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

Abu Ahmed, who bought Yazidi boy Ayman from Islamic State militants in Mosul, shows Ayman's toys in Rashidiya, north of Mosul, Iraq, January 30, 2017.

(REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

Abu Ahmed and his wife Umm, a Muslim couple who bought Yazidi boy Ayman from Islamic State militants in Mosul, speak during an interview with Reuters in Rashidiya, north of Mosul, Iraq, January 30, 2017.

(REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

Ayman (C), a boy from a minority Yazidi community, who was sold by Islamic State militants to a Muslim couple in Mosul, plays with other children after he was returned to his Yazidi family in Duhok, Iraq, January 31, 2017.

(REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

Ayman, a boy from a minority Yazidi community, who was sold by Islamic State militants to a Muslim couple in Mosul, is greeted by his relative after he was returned to his Yazidi family in Duhok, Iraq, January 31, 2017.

(REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

(Editing by Catherine Evans)

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.