UN report: ISIL holding 3,500 Iraqis as slaves

Special to WorldTribune.com

Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) has forced some 3,500 Iraqis into slavery, most of them minority Yazidi women and children, according to a UN report.

Most of the Yazidis were forced into sexual slavery, the report, released on Jan. 19, said.

ISIL jihadists in Mosul, Iraq.
ISIL jihadists in Mosul, Iraq.

The report said some 800 to 900 children were abducted from Mosul for religious and military training and that ISIL jihadists routinely killed child soldiers when they tried to flee the battlefield in Anbar province.

In a 21-month period from January 2014 to October 2015, the civilian death toll reached a “staggering” 18,802 Iraqis killed with another 36,245 wounded, the UN report said. About 3.2 million people were internally displaced, including a million school-aged children.

“Even the obscene casualty figures fail to accurately reflect exactly how terribly civilians are suffering in Iraq,” said UN human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein.

The report said the methods used by the terror organization to execute its enemies included public beheadings, running over people with bulldozers, burning them alive and throwing them off buildings.

ISIL’s brutality is “systematic and widespread,” the report said. “These acts may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide.”

UN envoy Jan Kubis said in a statement that “despite their steady losses to pro-government forces, the scourge of ISIL continues to kill, maim and displace Iraqi civilians in the thousands and to cause untold suffering.”