ISIS militants are accused of executing 600 Yazidi prisoners, with the gruesome murders caught on video.
The killings took place sometime on Friday, after ISIS transferred the hostages to Talafar. Locals said the captives were lined up and executed, with their bodies piled up on a highway.
Shahin Shingali, a fighter with the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, said the executions are taking place with greater frequency and called on others to join the fight against ISIS.
“Without a direct intervention by the international community, Iraq will be witnessing more genocides against innocent people at the hands of the IS terrorists,” he said.
While many reports of ISIS atrocities are unproven, there are other sources confirming the execution of the Yazidi hostages.
“A new crime was committed by Daesh (Islamic State) against our Yezidi people on Friday,” Aseel al-Nujaifi, governor of Nineveh province in Iraq, said in a statement.
“IS gangs executed hundreds of innocent Yezidi prisoners.”
The Yazidi people, a religious minority who mostly keep to themselves, have been a particular target for ISIS. Militants have killed hundreds of Yazidi already and sold many of the women and girls into slavery.
The militant group has reportedly offered Yazidi girls as reward for fighters, and even created marketing videos to sell the prisoners.
The girls have reportedly been priced based on their eye color and “good teeth,” with younger girls reportedly fetching a higher price.
Many groups are pushing back against ISIS, with Kurdish fighters winning back much of the land in northern Iraq that ISIS took during a blitz in 2014. American-led airstrikes also crippled the militant group, pushing back against them and allowing trapped Yazidi people to break free.
But the United States has shied away from entering the conflict directly, instead offering support to groups fighting ISIS.
The Iraqi governor who confirmed this week’s execution of Yazidi captives used the alleged atrocity as a call for others to turn against ISIS.
“These terrorists are degrading Islamic religion. Muslim clerics should bear their responsibility to show the public the reality of this terrorist group, demonstrating how it is diametrically opposed to the correct, tolerant teachings of the Islamic religion,” al-Nujaifi added.
There are mixed reports on just how many Yazidi captives were executed this week, with some sources reporting that 300 were killed and others putting the number at 500 or more.
[Image via YouTube]