hen Laila learnt Islamic State was holding her son in an old school less than 100 miles from the refugee camp she now calls home, she could start to dream of a rescue attempt. Then, when she heard troops were advancing on the group’s last stronghold in Iraq , she even allowed herself to believe they might liberate her boy.
Days later the advance has slowed, there has been no mention of Yazidi captives by soldiers or politicians, and her despair has returned. “Hope is crushed,” she said. “Ever since we lost our kids, no one has done anything, planned anything to rescue them.”
She has no idea where her son is now, and is haunted by fears that he could be forced to die fighting for his captors or in an air strike, or be transported to Syria for new torments. The Guardian