By Mark Ellis
The mother of Christina Khader Ebada, the three-year-old girl abducted by ISIS from an Assyrian Christian family as they fled Baghdede described the ordeal of her kidnapping and made a heartfelt plea for help.
Christina’s mother is physically handicapped and her father is blind, according to the report from the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA).
The emotional interview was conducted by Ishtar TV after Christina’s family reached a refugee camp in Ankawa, just north of Erbil, where 70,000 Assyrians refugees have fled from the ISIS onslaught.
When the Ebadas were told to vacate their home in Baghdede (Qaraqosh), they were taken to a primary care center first, where they were examined by a doctor affiliated with ISIS, according to the interview.
After their exam, the women in the group were separated from the men. “We carried our bags, which had clothes and ID cards. They said if you have gold get it out; they took the gold, not from me but from some other people, gold and money and the IDs of all of them, and threw away their clothes, and they said we will bring them to you later and said go to that big bus.”
As she sat on the bus with Christina in her arms, something terrible happened. “One man came aboard… he came and took her from me, snatched her from me, and left the bus.
“I followed him inside the building, and my little girl was crying. An old man, one of those ISIS people, who was apparently their leader, then carried her (away).
Christina’s mom did not hesitate, but ran after the man and caught up with him outside.
“Is this your daughter?” the man asked gruffly when he saw her.
“Yes,” Christina’s mom replied.
“She is crying for you,” he said, without much feeling.
“Give her back to me she, poor girl, what is she guilty of? She is breast-feeding from me. For the sake of Allah, for the sake of Muhammad, what do you worship? Give me this little one; she is breast-feeding from me. She will die if she does not see me. I am her mother.”
His face became like flint. “Shut up,” he snapped. “If you speak another word I will let them slaughter you. I will call them now to slaughter you.”
The man drew his machine gun and said, “Go quickly to the car. If you come close to this little girl you will be slaughtered, we shall slaughter you. Go!”
The Ebadas – sick at heart with grief — got on the bus and left.
In the interview, Christina’s mom called on the world community to respond. “This thing that is taking place here in Iraq, to kidnap this little girl who is innocent, and these crimes they are committing, stealing money, they did not leave us anything, what is this? We appeal to human rights groups to help us, to look at us. This is not a humane situation. We can’t live like this all our lives. We have not attacked them. What have we done to them?”
“I want you to return my daughter to me.”
Since capturing Mosul on June 10, ISIS has driven all Assyrian Christians from the city of two million people. There are no Assyrian Christians remaining in Mosul. ISIS has also destroyed or occupied all 45 Christian churches and institutions in Mosul. It has also targeted any and all non-Sunni Muslim groups — Shabaks, Yazidis and Turkmen, according to AINA.
On August 7 ISIS moved north of Mosul into the Nineveh Plain, a predominantly Assyrian area, causing fear and panic and forcing 200,000 Assyrian to flee from dozens of Assyrian villages and towns, as well as from Baghdede, Bartella and Karamles.