Mahmood, his wife and their four children are safe in a refugee camp after having spent almost two years under the rule of ISIL in Mosul. They fled six months ago and are still deeply marked by the dangers they faced. The news station France 2 filmed their arrival at a peshmerga barricade.
One night last April, after the curfew in Mosul, the family made their way through a minefield towards positions held by Kurdish-peshmerga forces.
With their goal just a few metres away, they were dealt a terrible blow.
Amar, the family’s eldest son explained what happened to him: “We walked a bit and passed the ISIL trenches. I straightened up like this, I looked over my shoulder, and saw my father and mother at my side, and then the explosion happened.”
A mine blast, left the boy instantly unconscious and permanently blinded.
His little brother, two and a half year-old Salooan, endured a life-threatening shrapnel wound to the stomach. A peshmerga soldier rushed to carry the child to safety.
The boy was saved. Mahmood, his father, said: “He was operated on to extract the shrapnel that was lodged here. He is a hero.”