Many Yazidi exiles now living in the U.S. will be giving thanks this Thanksgiving for their deliverance from ISIS and their new life in America.
"It's horrible. A lot of the girls from my mother's side got captured by ISIS and I don't think we will ever see them again," Hasan Khalil, who migrated to Lincoln, Nebraska, which is home of the largest concentration of Yazidis in the U.S., told NBC News. "So on Thanksgiving I am thankful that we are alive and that we made it here. We will thank God for giving us a better life in America."
The Yazidis, an Iraqi minority with a unique religion that predates Judaism, Christianity and Islam, has been targeted by the ISIS as part of its campaign to "purify" Iraq and neighboring countries of non-Islamic influences.
Khalil, 30, said he understands the plight of Syrian refugees who have also been forced to flee their homeland and who now are being treated like pariahs by many U.S. politicians.
"I disagree with those who want to close the door on refugees," said Khalil. "For refugees, coming to America is a dream and we appreciate it."