US & Canada

Yazidi boy reunited with family after being rescued from IS

Emad Mishko Tammo, twelve-year-old Yazidi boy,smiles as he is reunited with his family Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Emad Mishko Tammo, 12, smiles as he is reunited with family in Canada.

A 12-year-old Yazidi boy has been reunited with his mother in Canada three years after being captured by the so-called Islamic State.

Emad Mishko Tamo was greeted by family at the airport late on Wednesday.

A campaign to bring the boy to Canada was launched after a relative alerted his mother, Nofa Mihlo Rafo, to a photo posted online of him after his rescue.

Ms Mihlo Rafo arrived in Canada this year as a refugee with four of her six children.

She was separated from her husband and two eldest sons after their town was captured by IS in 2014.

The family was rounded up by IS jihadists in their town of Sinjar in northern Iraq and held captive for two years.

Ms Mihlo Rafo eventually managed to escape to a refugee camp with four of her children.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Emad Mishko Tammo, in white, is reunited with his mother.

She learned in July that one missing son, Emad, was alive and had been rescued by Iraqi forces.

According to the CBC, Emad, speaking through a translator, told reporters on Wednesday: "I'm happy, I'm very thankful for anyone that had any part in me reuniting with my mom".

Video posted on Facebook from the reunification shows Ms Mihlo Rafo tearful and overcome with emotion, and Emad smiling widely.

Image copyright Courtesy Steve Maman
Image caption Emad Mishko Tamo in Canada with his new bike, a gift from Steve Maman.

The Yazidi Association of Manitoba, the Kurdish Initiative for Refugees, Winnipeg Friends of Israel, and the Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq (CYCI), launched a campaign to reunite the boy with his family, putting pressure on federal politicians to expedite his case.

CYCI founder Steve Maman said Wednesday's reunion was made possible by "the power of many".

Speaking of both mother and son, he said that "both of them have come back alive from hell".

The boy had been living with an uncle in Iraq in the weeks following his rescue.

The Canadian government has committed to bringing up to 1,200 vulnerable Yazidi women and children and other survivors of IS to Canada.

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