Families reunite as children abducted and tortured by ISIS in Iraq slowly return

In July last year, so-called Islamic State's militants were forced out of the Iraqi city of Mosul after a nine-month battle which left at least 10,000 people dead. Now, ITV News Correspondent Emma Murphy, News Editor Lutfi Abu Aun and Cameraman Dave Harman have travelled to the city and other parts of Iraq to witness the devastation residents have been left to deal with. In this instalment, the team visited Dohuk in northern Iraq.

Families torn apart when so-called Islamic State militants abducted their their young children are slowly being reunited.

ITV News has witnessed family members in Iraq being brought back together after they were forced to spend almost four years apart.

ISIS fighters targeted a number of minority groups, including the Yazidis, whose young they kidnapped from their homes.

Now the last remnants of the militant group are finally being pushed from Iraq, families can now start looking for their loved ones.

But the task is a difficult and delicate one, with many of the Yazidi girls having to be smuggled or bought back from defeated ISIS fighters.

One of those girls abducted by ISIS was Rana, taken from her family and home in Sinjar when she was just 14.

She was then shipped between the frontlines of Iraq and Syria.

"The hardest part was when they were selling us in the market at Raqqa - they would publishing our photos to sell us like sheep," Rana said.

That Rana can tell her story is down to Khalil Aldakhi, who now helps to reunite the girls with their families.

Khalil showed ITV News footage on his phone of the first contact with Rana's captor.

A fleeting glimpse of her proved she was alive and then the operation to buy her back began.

It can cost thousands - paid for my families or the Kurdish authorities.

Khalil Aldakhi helps smuggle and buy back Yazidi kidnap victims.

"Any single mistake we know means this girl could be lost forever - we have to plan everything from the roads we take to the way we speak to the captors," Khalil said.

"We cant risk losing any of the girls."

Supporting kidnap victims is now a huge issue across Iraq.

At one clinic run by British charity AMAR they offer medical care for displaced Yazidis but also psychological support for those traumatised by their experiences.

One example of the horror of ISIS is a girl called Miriam who was abducted when she was just 11 years old and passed between fighters on the frontline.

Miriam carved her name in her arm using glass and ash to her body so she could be identified if she died. She now struggles to speak as a result of her trauma.

"They gave me drugs and raped me many times," she said.

"They would rape me from one am to one pm. No one stopped it, it just went on and on."

Miriam was abducted at 11 and sexually abused by her captives. Credit: ITV News

Sador was eight when he was taken.

Now returned he plays childhood games, but as a young slave he was occupied by warfare.

He was trained as a child fighter and taught how to use pistols, machines and heavy weaponry mounted on vehicles.

Now in tented cities the traumatised young and old Yazidids wrestle with what ISIS did to them.

Thousands are still missing and the hope they will return is slipping away.

Sador was trained as a child fighter by ISIS.