Iraqi Kurdish Troops Rescue Swedish Teen From IS

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) -
Iraqi security forces ride in vehicles travelling to Mosul to fight against militants of Islamic State at an Iraqi army base in Camp Taji in Baghdad, February 21, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad
Iraqi security forces ride in vehicles on an Iraqi army base in Camp Taji in Baghdad, Sunday, en route to fight Islamic State terrorists. (Reuters/Ahmed Saad)

Iraqi Kurdish troops have rescued a Swedish teenager from the Islamic State group near the terrorist-controlled city of Mosul, the Kurdish government said Tuesday.

A statement from the regional government said the rescue operation by the Kurdish anti-terrorist forces took place on Feb. 17 near Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The statement identified the minor by name, saying she is a 16-year-old from the Swedish town of Boras who “was misled” by an IS member in Sweden to travel to Syria and later to Mosul.

It also said the Swedish authorities and the teenager’s family had contacted the Iraqi Kurdish government and asked for help in locating and rescuing the girl from the IS.

Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul was the first major city to fall into the hands of IS terrorists during their blitz in June 2014, when the group swept across vast areas in the country’s north and west. To this day, Mosul remains under control of IS as Iraqi forces, aided by airstrikes carried out by the U.S.-led international coalition, are battling to reclaim ground lost to the terrorists. Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga Forces are fighting IS terrorists to the north and east of the city.

The rescued young woman is currently in Iraqi Kurdish territory and is being “provided the care afforded to her under international law,” the statement said, adding that she will be “transferred to Swedish authorities to return home once the necessary arrangements” are made.

The statement provided no details on the rescue operation.

Iraqi Kurdish officials contacted by the AP in Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq, declined to provide more details on the case.