The Islamic State terrorist group, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), rose to prominence from the ashes of an al-Qaeda-affiliated group in 2013. They have a storied history of brutality throughout Iraq and Syria, with no sign that they will stop committing atrocities. Despite the extensive harm they have done to the people of Syria for more than a year, the United Nations is just now considering adding the terrorist group to their Syria war crimes list.
“They are good candidates for the list,” said Paulo Pinheiro, head of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria. “I can assure you that we are collecting information on perpetrators from all sides, including non-state armed groups and ISIS. I am not in a position to say who is winning the World Cup of human rights violations. Both sides are doing horrific things, and they will continue if there is no accountability.”
The crimes on the list remain confidential, but ISIS crimes are well documented in the media. Evidence proves the UN should have put ISIS on this list over a year ago.
The jihadists performed a public execution in July 2013. ISIS took over Azaz, a key town near the border of Turkey, in September 2013. That is significant because Turkey “vocally supported the fight against forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and allowed weapons to cross into Syria on its southern border. Two months later, CNN featured Turkey’s secret jihadi route to Syria. One last note on Turkey: it is a NATO state.
In December 2013, Amnesty International published findings of ISIS abuse in detention centers. From Amnesty.org:
Former detainees describe a shocking catalogue of abuses in which they or others were flogged with rubber generator belts or cables, tortured with electric shocks or forced to adopt a painful stress position known as aqrab (scorpion), in which a detainee’s wrists are secured together over one shoulder.
Several children were among detainees who received severe floggings, according to testimonies obtained by Amnesty International. On one occasion, an anguished father had to endure screams of pain as ISIS captors tormented his son in a nearby room. Two detainees related how they witnessed a child of about 14 receive a flogging of more than 90 lashes during interrogation at Sadd al-Ba’ath, an ISIS prison in al-Raqqa governorate. Another child of about 14 who ISIS accused of stealing a motorbike was repeatedly flogged over several days.
In recent months, the jihadists declared a Caliphate in areas of Syria and Iraq. They overtook the city of Raqqa and stoned two women to death, which was the first time such punishment took place in the city.
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ISIS continues to spread terror across Syria while attempting to establish itself in Iraq. After conquering Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, the group ordered all Christians to convert to Islam and pay an “infidel’s tax,” leave the city, or be killed. The jihadists even marked Christian homes with the letter N, which stands for Nazarene, and blew up Jonah’s tomb. No Christians remain in Mosul, though Mosul was home to one of the largest Christian communities in the world and lived peacefully with Muslims for over 2,000 years. The group told women they must wear full-face veils and that shopkeepers must place veils on all mannequins. The UN released a report that ISIS ordered female genital mutilation, but the terrorists denied the accusation.
ISIS is slowly leaking into Baghdad. They claimed responsibility for numerous car bombs last weekend and suicide attacks during the week.