ISIS Captives Rescued in Iraq

ISIS Captives Rescued in Iraq


Across the world, many are suffering and still display faith. The Orthodox Christian
Network highlights these important news events and reminds us to always pray for peace. 

Sixty-nine prisoners were freed on October 22nd, after a raid by Kurdish and American Special Operations forces at an Islamic State (ISIS) prison in Hawija, Iraq.  This was the first confirmed time American forces joined their Kurdish counterparts for such a mission; and the raid had been meant to free captured pesh-merga fighters when the rescuers happened on the prisoners by mistake.  The prisoners, were either members of the police force, or suspected to have ties to the Iraqi or United States governments.


Interviews with the freed prisoners recounted life and torture both in captivity and prior to their detention. Mr. Jibouri felt his prayers were answered and was grateful to his rescuers, especially the Army Seargent that lost his life.

He wanted America to know, he prayed “May God keep him in heaven.”


In Hawija, an Iraqi area captured by the Islamic State, local residents were under heavy restrictions imposed by the militants, from specific details on what to wear, and how to pray.  Militants seized weapons and money, and any disobedience would provoke suspicion or beatings.  Anyone trying to flee would be severely punished, and family members were tortured and killed for association with the United States.  In captivity, new prisoners would be systematically abused, and locked in cells where they were forced to watch beheadings under the Islamic state.  Life was hopeless for the prisoners until their unexpected rescue last Thursday, where they felt their prayers had been answered.  One prisoner was to be executed the following day, and another recounts that he signed a confession that would certainly assure his death.  The freed men are grateful for their release, and burdened with the sadness that their families remain in the region with little to no hope of freedom.


To read more, click on the New York Times article

Photo: Michael R. Gordon/The New York Times
Caption: Mr. Jibouri wept as he talked about his wife and son, still trapped in Hawija, Iraq


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About author

Eleni Alexiou

Eleni brings to the Orthodox Christian Network diverse experience as an accomplished director in both nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She holds a BS from Florida State University, a Master’s of Clinical Social Work from Simmons College School, a LCSW-C (License in Clinical Social Work) with years of experience working within the Orthodox community. She is a leader in non-profits and administration with 20 years of supervisory experience, staff development & management, coordinating of volunteers, community outreach, and fundraising. Eleni joined OCN to inspire and spread media ministry in the Orthodoxy.