As the battle in Mosul continues, more and more reports are coming to light of the atrocities waged by the Islamic State, both in Mosul and in surrounding areas. The Guardian reports that the United Nations has released a statement detailing preliminary reports of mass executions and a “long line of crimes against humanity.” A second British outlet, Express has also released a chilling report of recent atrocities in Douma, Syria, where over 250 children were recently crushed in a dough kneader in a mass execution.
The Guardian reports that the situation in Mosul and surrounding areas is dire, not just from a militia operations perspective, but from a human rights perspective. The United Nations (UN) released a statement this week saying that multiple mass executions have been reported. The UN also states that many of these reports are preliminary, and not confirmed.
Human rights spokesperson for the UN Rupert Colville said that as recent as Sunday, ISIS militants killed 50 police officers that were being held captive in a building on the outskirts of Mosul. Additionally, in a neighboring village, Tuloul Naser, 70 civilians were also reportedly held captive, and their bodies were just found this weekend in an abandoned building.
The Guardian reports that the bodies of an additional 15 civilians were found dumped in a river in Safina, approximately in Safina, approximately 45 kilometers from Mosul according to the statement released by the United Nations. Another atrocity being reported at the preliminary level is the story of 6 men that ISIS had tied to a vehicle on October 19 and were then driven through the streets while they were beaten with sticks and guns.
Of the six men, the United Nations says, “It is not clear what happened to them subsequently.”
Rupert Colville says, “We very much fear that these will not be the last such reports we receive of such barbaric acts of ISIL.”
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is heavily being focused on in the Iraq city of Mosul. But many surrounding areas, including Syria, are still under siege and experiencing dire humanitarian crises. The Guardian reports that women and children are a frequent target, with another situation occurring recently where three women and their children were shot because they lagged behind in a group relocating.
The lag was due to one child being disabled. She and all other parties in the relocation migration were shot for the tardiness. The United Nations representative Colville says that these reports come from identified sources in northern Iraq that the United Nations has “used in the past.”
In their statement released this week, the United Nations also says that ISIS is using civilians as human shields during the attacks on Mosul. CNS News reports that the genocide of Yazidis and Christians in both Iraq and the neighboring country of Syria is continuing as well.
Yazidi women use the word “force” for “rape,” and CNS says, many Yazidi women are being “forced” by ISIS, while their children stood outside the door “screaming and crying.” A Yazidi woman that has been sold to ISIS seven times told CNS,
“When he would force me into a room with him, I could hear my children screaming and crying outside the door. Once he became very angry. He beat and threatened to kill them. He forced two of them to stand outside barefoot in the snow until he finished with me.”
Another ISIS soldier reportedly killed the children of a Yazidi woman, so that she could be sold on the open market as a sex slave multiple times. CNS reports she asked him where her children were, and he said,
“They are kuffar [non-Muslim] children. It is good they are dead. Why are you crying for them?”
CNS says that it is estimated that as many as 5,000 Yazidis or Christians have been executed by ISIS to date, since at least 2014, according to a report “They Came to Destroy: ISIS Crimes Against Yazidis.” The report also chronicles how,
“ISIS has sought to destroy the Yazidis through killings, sexual slavery, enslavement, torture, and inhuman and degrading treatment and forcible transfer causing serious bodily and mental harm.”
The report also discusses how children are frequently bought and sold, for ISIS training purposes, or disposed of when there is no use for them.
Perhaps the most chilling reports to date come from the Syrian city of Douma, where reports surfaced this weekend of over 250 children being executed at once according to British newspaper Express. One Syrian woman spoke of how the Christians were “being killed and tortured and of children being beheaded in front of their parents.”
She also said the local site of a bakery in Douma, reportedly became a place of horror. The woman known as Alice Assaf reportedly told the following to an official with the charity called Roads to Success.
“Our neighbor came in and said: Ummm ISSA, they have taken many girls, about 300 girls. They were taken to Douma. Many of them were Christians and few were Alawites. At the bakery, there were six young people who were working there. We knew them. They were burned in the oven, six well-framed men. Then, there were 250 children. They were put in the dough mixer, they were kneaded. The oldest one was four-years-old.”
The reports went as far as British Parliament, reports the Express, where MP Fiona Bruce recounted the horrifying testimony. Fiona Bruce reportedly told British Parliament about these reports, speaking of the woman that testified of the children being killed at the bakery,
“She told us of a mother with a two-month-old baby. When Daesh knocked at the front door of her house and ordered the entire family out, she pleaded with them to let her collect her child from another room. They told her, ‘No. Go. It is ours now.'”
Express reports that the UK-based charity Open Doors UK is also involved in the humanitarian fight. Open Doors UK helps Christians in the Middle East, specifically Syria and Iraq, who have been taken hostage or had faith leaders assassinated. ISIS typically captures a town and traps the civilians, and murders those who try to escape.
Watch this video of a Syrian woman from 2015 that was trapped, where she describes a fight with an ISIS soldier who wanted to “force” a 9-year-old girl. Her own children, that can not be more than 4 or 5-years-old, describe the atrocities of ISIS with horrifying hand motions.
The humanitarian crisis continues today and is expected to for some time. The Guardian reports that 5,000 have been displaced from Mosul in light of the current conflict. Many are fleeing to “poorly equipped camps” in Syria reports the Guardian. In light of the atrocities that have reportedly killed hundreds of children over the weekend, Syria does not seem to be offering much better conditions than those found in Mosul.
[Feature Image by Uncredited/AP Images]