ISIS Crimes in Iraq Are ‘Staggering’ According To U.N. Report

The United Nations released a 29-page report Thursday stating that ISIS has committed “staggering” systematic war crimes that demand prosecution.

According to Reuters, at least 9,347 civilians have been killed and 17,386 wounded so far this year, over half of them since ISIS began seizing parts of northern Iraq in June.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein called for the Baghdad government to join the International Criminal Court, which was set up to prosecute such humanitarian abuses and the targeting of civilians on the basis of their religious or ethnic group.

“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,” he said.

Islamist forces have committed human rights violations against several groups, including Christians, Yazidis, and Shi’ite Muslims. The report says that ISIS threats have forced nearly two million Iraq civilians to leave their homes. The Inquisitr reports many of the Iraqis have fled to Turkey, creating a major refugee crisis in that country.

“These include attacks directly targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, executions and other targeted killings of civilians, abductions, rape and other forms of sexual and physical 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.”

The crimes committed include mass executions, abducting women and girls as sex slaves, and using child soldiers. Women have been a particular target, according to the report.

“ISIL (has) attacked and killed female doctors, lawyers, among other professionals.”

The report went on to document the kidnapping of between 400 and 500 women who were taken to the Tal Afar citadel in Iraq’s Nineveh region, where “150 unmarried girls and women, predominantly from the Yazidi and Christian communities, were reportedly transported to Syria, either to be given to ISIL fighters as a reward or to be sold as sex slaves.”

The report also noted concerns about violations committed by the Baghdad government and allied fighters, including air strikes causing “significant civilian deaths” by hitting villages, a school, and hospitals in violation of international law.

The U.N. isn’t the first to express grave concerns over the growing threat from ISIS or to question the air strikes. President Obama admitted recently that the U.S. had “underestimated” the militants and an anonymous Syria fighter told CNN in an interview earlier this week that he doesn’t think the U.S. air attacks are enough to stop the Islamic militants.

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