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A mother gave her child sleeping pills to escape IS

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Dec22,2023 #mother #sleeping
A mother gave her child sleeping pills to escape IS 0
A mother gave her child sleeping pills to escape IS 0

Iraqi security forces and Sunni fighters help trapped residents escape an area under IS control in Ramadi on January 4.

For many months, Nada Saleh had to take sleeping pills because this was the only way she could sleep amid the constant sounds of bombs and bullets as international coalition forces and local militias tried to liberate her hometown.

However, at the height of the war, the whole family had to evacuate Ramadi and Saleh decided to give sleeping pills to his children, including his youngest daughter.

`I still have a few sleeping pills for my children to take so they don’t cry and don’t reveal our hiding place,` CNN quoted Saleh as saying.

Saleh and her husband managed to survive under intense IS surveillance for months, but her family decided to leave when the violent men appeared and set fire to their home.

`When they burned my house, they pulled us outside and threatened my husband with a sword at my neck,` Saleh said.

A mother gave her child sleeping pills to escape IS

Location of the city of Ramadi and Habbaniyah, where there is a camp for residents lucky enough to escape IS-occupied territory.

Saleh feared that she and her husband and six children would be used as shields by IS when Iraqi forces attacked the city.

`They wanted my husband to take us to the Suffiya district where they were also holding other families. IS was hiding behind the families there, using them to hide from Iraqi forces,` she said.

Saleh’s husband escaped IS but like many other men who have left Ramadi, he was questioned by Iraqi authorities to see if he had any connection to the rebels.

The mother of six children said that the moment her family held hands and crossed the front line always appears in her mind every time she closes her eyes.

`I took off my daughter’s white headscarf and waved it as we passed there. I kept shouting ‘we are not a threat,’` she said.

`For four days, we ran away, moving from place to place,` she recalled.

Finally, they reached Habbaniyah, where there was a camp for residents lucky enough to escape territory occupied by IS.

A mother gave her child sleeping pills to escape IS

People light a fire to warm themselves at a refugee camp in Habbaniyah, Iraq.

Built on the site of a `tourist village`, many tents in Habbaniya remain empty as many families are still stuck inside the city of Ramadi, more than 40 kilometers to the west.

Iraqi forces, backed by Western air power, pushed IS militants out of central Ramadi last week.

Iraq said about 1,000 families were still stuck in eastern Ramadi.

While waiting for news from her husband, Saleh and her children could do nothing but relive their terrifying escape and worry about the future.

`How many times have I thought I might die?` she said.

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