ISIS’s mass graves discovered in Iraq
As international forces slowly push back the terrorist organization that styles itself as the Islamic State, evidence of their brutality continues to be unearthed. In Iraq, the shifting front lines have led to the discovery of more than fifty of ISIS’s mass graves.
ISIS, which embraces a radical Jihadist interpretation of Islam, regards anyone who does not share their idea of the faith as an apostate or heretic and thus considers them a legitimate target for murder. Thus far, it has been the religious Yazidi minority that has suffered the most at the hands of the Islamic State along with the area’s majority Sunni Muslims, who have been targeted for brutalization when they do not bow to the wishes of the occupying Jihadists.
ISIS’s mass graves discovered in Ramadi, Sinjar, and Tikrit also contained the bodies of Iraqi soldiers who have presumably been executed by ISIS forces after being captured in battle. ISIS’s mass graves have also included bodies of women and Yazidis who have been murdered. The UN estimates that nearly 20,000 civilians have been killed in the fighting in Iraq since the conflict started two years ago, many of them killed by ISIS forces. The killings have even been argued to amount to acts of genocide.
The UN High Commission on Human Rights has condemned these atrocities and called for those responsible to face criminal action, yet with ISIS still in control of significant territory in the region and no end in sight to the war, it is unlikely that any will ever be brought to trial. And yet, with every day that passes, more innocent people will die and more will be displaced by the violence. The UN has called for international aid to be delivered to ease the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict, yet little has actually been delivered thus far.