Snatched from their families at a young and vulnerable age, these children now must undergo the trauma of new separations and new adjustments,
Many Yazidi men were simply murdered on the spot.
The children tell a different story.
But their lives with the militants also brought adventure, friendship and love.
“I love her more than my own mother,” said the girl. “She treated me better than my original mother. My mother and father divorced and they didn’t care about me.
She was among four recently rescued children, the two girls and two boys, who spoke during a series of interviews at Rasho’s home about their experiences of life with the Islamic State.
But he did so with regret, he said, sitting in a wheelchair
He misses the camaraderie of the battlefield and, above all, the friend he made on the front lines, a Saudi man called Abu Hassan, who died beside him in the attack that cost him his leg
“I never cried when I left my mother in #Sinjar, but I cried when I left my friends,” he said.
The 14-year-old girl nodded and said that for her, going without her face and hair covered was something she couldn’t get used to.
“I’m confused. There they tell you to do one thing. Here they tell you another. When I was there I was told to wear abaya and cover my face. Here they tell me not to cover. In my mind it’s chaos.”
Rasho acknowledged that children are facing difficulties adjusting but predicted they would adapt once they got home. He and his family do their best to make them feel welcome.
Not all of them will find it.
Speaking his mother tongue as the boy poured tea for the guests, Rasho told us his parents are missing and almost certainly dead.
Out of earshot of the Yazidi adults, he begged us to take him back to the camp from which he was rescued,
“Maybe in the beginning we are suffering, but maybe, only God knows, we will get used to it,” suggested the 14-year-old girl.
The youngest of the group, the 11-year-old girl, didn’t seem sure
. Painfully shy, she refused to speak.
Did she want to be rescued? She shook her head. Was she happy to be here? She shook her head. Does she also miss Umm Ali, like the older girl? She looked up and nodded vigorously.