A United Nations report released Thursday highlighted a “staggering array” of crimes perpetrated by the Islamic State terrorists group (ISIS/ISIL) and its associates, including the targeted killings of civilians, kidnappings, rapes of women and children, the desecration of religious places, looting, and violations of fundamental freedoms.
According to the 26-page report by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Islamic State, between July 6 and September 10 this year, committed “attacks directly targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, executions and other targeted killings of civilians, abductions, rape and other forms of sexual and physical violence.” They have also committed violence “perpetrated against women and children, forced recruitment of children, destruction or desecration of places of religious or cultural significance, wanton destruction and looting of property, and denial of fundamental freedoms.”
“Members of Iraq’s diverse ethnic and religious communities, including Turkmen, Shabak, Christians, Yezidi, Sabaeans, Kaka’e, Faili Kurds, Arab Shi’a, and others have particularly been affected by the situation,” the UN states, adding:
ISIL and associated armed groups intentionally and systematically targeted these communities for gross human rights abuses, at times aimed at destroying, suppressing or cleansing them from areas under their control. ISIL and associated armed groups also murdered captured soldiers and other security forces or government personnel.
The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and their affiliates are also guilty of “violations of international humanitarian and international human rights law.”
“These included air strikes and shelling as well as conduct of particular military operations or attacks that may have violated the principles of distinction and proportionality under international humanitarian law,” states the report.
On October 1, UNAMI reported that at least 9,347 civilians have been killed and 17,386 wounded so far this year, more than half of them since the Islamic State jihadists began seizing large areas in northern Iraq in early June.
“This report is terrifying,” said Nickolay Mladenov, UN special representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq, adding that the number of civilian deaths may be higher.
“The array of violations and abuses perpetrated by ISIL and associated armed groups is staggering, and many of their acts may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.