Five-year-old Khadija and her three-year-old sister Fatima spent a day in the comfort of their family home in Makhachkala, Dagestan, Sunday, shortly after being reunited with their relatives and loved ones.
The sisters were among the five Russian-speaking children who were brought back to their homeland last Friday, after being taken by their now-deceased parents to Iraq as they joined the self... Еще-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL/ISIS).
The parents of Khadija and Fatima reportedly left for Turkey two years ago taking their children with them before heading to Mosul. Khadija and Fatima were rescued from the embattled city and taken to an orphanage in Baghdad.
Khadija and Fatima are still haunted by the traumatic experience of war while living under IS rule.
Grandfather of the girls, Anvar, said «she told me that when there were bombs, they would run to a basement. And when she sees a helicopter now — Ah! She says: Helicopter! Plane! She is shocked by it».
He went on to say, «the other day I was opening an ice cream, and I have a habit of popping the packaging. I accidentally slapped it and she immediately twitched. Oh! it's like an explosion.»
Anvar said that in the beginning he did not believe in the success of the mission to rescue the two girls, but then, he said, «I asked the almighty to give them health and strength, to get my grandchildren back. And this is how it happened. I received them safe and alive.»
Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov ordered his representative in the Middle East to use his diplomatic connections to secure the return of Khadija and Fatima, as well as other children.
According to reports, dozens of Russian-speaking children are still in Iraqi orphanages across the country. The campaign to identify these kids and reunite them with their families in Russia and the CIS is ongoing.
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Ruptly reported on the grandparents’ reaction after being recognised by their grandchildren in a video on August 14.
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