Miled and Barakat Hussein Khalaf
Miled and Barakat are two Yazidi brothers from Sinjar, Iraq. In August 2014, ISIS captured them with the rest of their family when they were just 7 and 4 years old. They spent 6 months in several prisons in Mosul, Kafarmehrab and Talaafar, until their family was finally separated.
The brothers were kept in Mosul for a year before they were moved to the ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria, where they were indoctrinated and received basic military training with a focus on handling explosives. They were then sent to the bordertown of Baghuz where they further studied Islam and finalized their training to become suicide bombers.
Eventually, the boys were ordered to conduct a suicide attack. Miled was instructed to wear an explosive vest and drive a motorcycle through a military checkpoint, while Barakat was tasked with ramming a vehicle born improvised explosive device (VBIED) into enemy forces. Both of them were supposed to explode themselves to destroy their targets.
Fortunately for the brothers, the suicide mission was unexpectedly called off, and they were transferred to a combat unit that was involved in one of the raging battles in Baghuz. Shortly after reaching the frontline, the boys were separated and Barakat disappeared. No one was able to find him and he was presumed dead.
Meanwhile as the fighting continued in Baghuz, a TNF team had managed to remain undercover in the border town with the help of local villagers. They were able to identify and locate dozens of Yazidi women and children who needed to be rescued.
Our operatives traveled through the dangerous mountains and deserts near Baghuz in several long and risky missions. They successfully retrieved 38 Yazidi women and children along with Miled. Operatives kept looking for Barakat until they found him in one of the hospitals 45 days later. His leg was badly damaged and in urgent need of surgery. To make things worse, Barakat was about to be transferred to the notorious Al Hol camp in Syria where the business of organ harvesting is rampant.
The team swiftly retrieved Barakat who was losing consciousness and about to also lose his life, but the extraordinary efforts of the operatives kept him alive until they reached a hospital in Iraq where surgeons operated on him immediately. Barakat’s life was saved and his leg was spared amputation, however major medical attention and treatment were still needed.
The two brothers received a hero’s welcome when they returned home. They were joined by surviving members from their family and are awaiting to be reunited with their sister Halima who was recently rescued. Miled and Barakat will remain in the care of TNF until they are safely relocated overseas.
Operation Baghuz Recovery