Dutch woman escapes after a year in ISIS territory
A Dutch woman lived in areas controlled by terrorist group Islamic State for almost a year before managing to escape on Tuesday and get help from Kurdish fighters in Mosul, Iraq, reports Kurdish television station Kurdistan24.
In an interview with the station, given in broken English, the woman identifies herself as Laura Angela Hansen. She says she was born in The Hague and lived in Zoetermeer, which she calls Sweet Lake City in the interview. She says that she is married go a German-Palestinian, who took her and her two children to Syria under false pretenses.
According to Hansen, her husband took the family to "vacation" in Turkey in September last year. He told her he wanted to donate money to refugees living in a camp on Turkey's border. Instead they went to Syria and ended up in Raqqa, the capital of the ISIS proclaimed caliphate. "I didn't want to come to Syria", she said. "He pushed me."
Hansen told the television station that she was locked up in Raqqa. "They put me in a house. It was all guarded by men. Men with beards and guns. I couldn't get out", she said. After some time she was taken to Mosul in Iraq. Her father then contacted the Kurdish fighters, the Peshmerga, and asked them to free his daughter. That succeeded as Hansen and her two sons, age 1 and 4 years, are now with them.
According to Kurdistan24, the two kids were injured in a bombardment that targeted areas around Mosul. The Peshmerga provided medical assistance for them.
Hansen seems to be in her early 20's. She told the station that she started saying she was Muslim at age 14 and started praying and wearing a burka when she was 17. She met her husband through a dating site. "We had a lot of problems. He was very aggressive and they (the people where she lived, ed) called the police a lot of times. I was pregnant, so I didn't want to divorce."
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Volkskrant that they do not comment on "individual matters", but did confirm that a Dutch woman very recently asked for help at the Dutch embassy in Iraq.