Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, January 29th, 2022

ISIL Committed Genocide Against Yazidis: UN Investigation

ISIL Committed Genocide Against Yazidis: UN Investigation

A United Nations team investigating atrocities in Iraq found “clear and compelling evidence” that ISIL (ISIS) “committed” genocide against the Yazidi minority in 2014, its head has said, adding that the armed group successfully developed chemical weapons and used mustard gas.
In a report to the UN Security Council on Monday, Karim Khan said the team had also concluded that ISIL committed war crimes against predominantly Shia unarmed cadets and personnel from the Tikrit Air Academy who were captured, tortured and subjected to mass killings in June 2014.
He said an ISIL video released in July 2015 showing the killings “constitutes a direct and public incitement to commit genocide against Shia Muslims”.
The Security Council voted unanimously in September 2017 to ask the UN to establish an investigative team to help Iraq preserve evidence and promote accountability for what “may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide” committed by ISIL, in Iraq and the Levant region, which includes Syria.
In his sixth report to the council, Khan said the Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) rapidly expanded the amount of evidence it has over the past six months.
He said “significant developments” in collecting forensic evidence from mass grave sites, digital data extracted from hard drives that belonged to ISIL, digitisation of case files, and use of advanced technological tools to process and search databases has allowed the team “to establish clear timelines of activities of key ISIL members.”
‘Landmark moment’
Khan called it “a landmark moment” that UNITAD had established convincing evidence that ISIL committed genocide “against the Yazidi as a religious group” in the Sinjar region with the intent “to destroy the Yazidi physically and biologically.”
This was manifest in the ISIL ultimatum applied to all Yazidis “to convert or die” and led to thousands killed, “either executed en masse, shot as they fled, or dying from exposure on Mount Sinjar as they tried to escape”, Khan said. “Thousands more were enslaved, with women and children abducted from their families and subjected to the most brutal abuses, including serial rape and other forms of unendurable sexual violence” that for many lasted years, “often leading to death”.
The Yazidis are an ethno-religious minority numbering approximately 550,000 in their heartland of northwest Iraq before ISIL swept through the rugged region in 2014. Their belief combines elements of several ancient Middle Eastern religions. ISIL, which considers the Yazidis heretics, slaughtered thousands of Yazidi men, abducted women and girls and forced boys to fight on its behalf during the time it controlled large swaths of Iraq and Syria.
Khan said crimes against the Yazidis continue, with thousands of women and children separated from their families or missing and some still with their ISIL captors or those to whom they were sold. (Aljazeera)