The Survival of Khidir Hassan Ahmed
Tragic stories are abundant in Shingal. Wherever you go you find people with many heartbreaking stories. Khanke camp is a place of comfort for many Yazidis who fled from IS and their heinous attacks. Thousands of Yazidis were kidnaped, killed and sexually harassed while thousands are in the hands of ISIS at the moment. Few have managed to escape and run away from the barbarians. Khidir Hassan Ahmed who is the only survivor in his family, a 17year old from Cocho village in which hundreds of Yazidis killed by IS, told us his tragic story and the way he escaped. On the first day of the IS attack on Shingal, all the people fled to mountain but Cocho is the only village that its people refused to leave.
Ahmed said that when mili- tants came to his village, they asked them to raise white flags and they would not do anything to them. But it seemed that the strategy that ISIS used worked. After one day, the IS told them that they had to convert to Islam or they would be killed. The Chieftain tried to delay the period into another three days so that they would find a solution. The village was surrounded by IS militants so that no one could escape. After the days passed they asked them that they were going to take them to the mountain to join their sect and go to Kurdistan and those who wanted to stay and convert to Islam they could do so. This was another trick that IS utilized. They separated men from women and girls and later killed them all. Ahmed said that IS took men and put women and girls in trucks . While doing so, "I was in the first shift to be killed. I and another 14 men were shot when we heard the word" Shoot" added Ahmed." Fortunately, Ahmed and another three men could jump on the ground quickly when the shooting started so the bullets did not penetrate to the vital organs but only touched their flesh.
Ahmed and his three injured friends could make their way into one of the nearby Arab villages after IS left to bring more people for execution. The four survivors asked for water and food. They were told to leave the village as soon as possible fearing IS reprisals. Then they made their way to the mountain which took 20 hours walking till they reached their destination. There at least they could feel safe since many Yazidis were in the mountain. They did not get treatment for their injuries and they started their journey again towards Syria so that they get some medical help. Once they reached Syria they got treatment and later headed toward Derk (one of the Kurdish Villages) so that they could get their way to Kurdistan.
After facing many unimaginable difficulties and seeing many children starve and die of thirst and hunger and seeing many old men and women die on the mountain, as well as losing all the members of his family and relatives, Ahmed is now living in Khanke camp. Alone.