Mass Graves in Syria and Iraq
A survey of mass graves in Syria and Iraq has identified 72 sites in which Islamic State buried victims of its atrocities.
Up to 15,000 victims of genocide and mass slaughter may be buried in the sites across territory where the militants formerly held sway, according to a comprehensive assessment by the Associated Press.
Syrian troops ‘discover mass grave in Palmyra’
The figures are based on documentation and mapping of the 72 mass graves as well as excavations by Iraqi officials, the testimony of survivors, Isis propaganda campaigns and analysis of the ground where the victims were buried.
The numbers offer the clearest evidence yet of the scale of Isis’s crimes as it eliminated enemies and minorities to establish its stronghold in Syria. The figures shed light on the violence it wrought as it surged into Iraq in 2014 and conquered the plains of Nineveh, killing and enslaving thousands of members of the Yazidi religious minority as well as members of the Shia community.
Further mass graves are expected to be uncovered as Isis retreats in the face of offensives by a US-led coalition and allied forces on the ground in Iraq and Syria, ceding ground outside of Mosul and Raqqa, the two most populous cities under its control.
The study identified 17 mass graves in Syria alone, including one with the bodies of hundreds of members of a single tribe that was largely exterminated when Isis captured the region.
Sinjar mountain, in Iraq, where the Yazidis took refuge as the militants raided their ancestral home, contains six burial sites and the bodies of more than 100 people.
Some areas where mass graves were uncovered are still too dangerous for a comprehensive excavation that would provide an accurate count of the victims.
Isis has often flaunted its mass atrocities, justifying the enslavement and murder of the Yazidis on obtuse religious grounds, and publishing propaganda videos and images of its crimes.
Its most infamous large-scale killings were the Camp Speicher massacre in Iraq, when the group murdered more than 1,500 Shia army cadets in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s birthplace, and the August 2014 massacre of more than 700 members of the Shaitat tribe in eastern Syria for their opposition to Isis rule.
One site outside the Badoush prison in Iraq is believed to contain the bodies of 600 inmates killed by the militants in their summer 2014 rampage.
This month Iraq’s judiciary sentenced 36 people to death for involvement in the Camp Speicher massacre. But otherwise there has been little accountability for the group’s crimes, which in addition to its killings include the exile of much of Iraq’s Christian community from their ancestral homes in Nineveh, and the destruction of cultural heritage.
Rather than obscure its crimes, Isis publicises them with well-produced videos and images. Video of the killings of Shia cadets in Camp Speicher was published by the group’s social media outlets shortly after they took place, sparking outrage and condemnation.
In media outlets such as its magazine Dabiq, Isis speaks openly of its intention to exterminate the Yazidis, denigrating the group as devil worshippers and heretics.
In addition to massacring minorities, the group also makes a point of killing anyone who opposes it in conquered territories. After seizing the Tabqa airbase from the Syrian regime, the group killed dozens of soldiers captured during the offensive.
The Associated Press estimated the number of known victims at between 5,200 and more than 15,000, a figure the agency described as staggering. The largest mass grave is believed to hold thousands of victims.
Activists in Syria believe there are hundreds of mass graves in Isis-controlled areas that can only be explored when the fighting stops. By that time, they fear any effort to document the massacres and exhume and identify the remains will become infinitely more complicated.
The mass graves themselves appear to be relatively easy to find, and have emerged whenever territory has been liberated from Isis control. The militants do little to hide the evidence.
“They don’t even try to hide their crimes,” Sirwan Jalal, the director of Iraqi Kurdistan’s agency in charge of mass graves, told AP. “They are beheading them, shooting them, running them over in cars, all kinds of killing techniques, and they don’t even try to hide it.”
15000? It will end up a lot more ,,,,,
|The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to wmbondurant For This Useful Post:|
Azimuth, commondenom, gatagato, Oswald2001, William May
Re: Mass Graves in Syria and Iraq
72 grave sites eh...... must be one for every pretend virgin they're all dying for! Mucktards!
|The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to SLAPAPPY For This Useful Post:|
Oswald2001, William May, wmbondurant