The Islamic State’s (also know as ISIS, ISIL, or simply IS) brutal and horrific campaign in northern Iraq has been burned into the minds of anyone who is paying attention. The death and suffering of civilians trapped in the group’s attempt to create a caliphate is almost unbearable to ponder, and any victory against this new brand of extremist is marred by the unspeakable crimes that continue to this day.
But a victory is a victory, and whenever a single victim of this conflict emerges with hope, that’s at least something to latch on to.
The British TV series Dispatches was able capture one such example of that hope when 34 people, mostly women and children, managed to escape ISIS.
The show embedded itself with an underground network operating in Sinjar mountain just across from an ISIS outpost. In August 2014, the same area was attacked by ISIS, with the militants killing hundreds and capturing 3,000 Yazidi women and young girls.
The series, titled Escape from Isis, follows Khaleel, a local lawyer, who put together a mission to rescue people who managed to escape. While filming, the crew witnessed the biggest rescue so far when 34 Yazidis managed to escape, walking across miles of ISIS-controlled territory.
Just 6 weeks after the rescue, Khaleel and his team was informed that another massacre had occurred in the town from where the escapees had fled.