The untold tragedy of Iraq’s Shia Turkmen women

Barely recognised amid those IS crimes and brutal assault on northwest Iraq, are the hundreds of Turkmen women also taken into captivity.

Most are Shia from the Turkmen-dominated rural town of Tal Afar, 80 km west of Mosul. They were seized in the neighbouring Yazidi-majority town of Sinjar, where they and their families sought refuge after IS had taken control of Tal Afar several weeks earlier.

It is near impossible to know the true number of missing Turkmen women.

IS militants viewed communities and sects that didn’t conform to their extremist interpretation of religion, such as the Shia, with murderous contempt, labelling them apostates.

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