10k Iraqi Izadis killed or abducted in 2014 Daesh raid: Study
A study has found that at least 9,900 people from Iraq’s Izadi minority community were slaughtered or kidnapped in just days following an attack by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group on the northern town of Sinjar three years ago.
According to the study published on Tuesday in PLOS Medicine weekly medical journal, some 3,100 Izadis were killed while over half of them were beheaded, shot or burned alive.
The report also put the number of the Izadis kidnapped to become sex slaves or militants at 6,800.
In August 2014, Daesh launched a deadly assault on the Izadis in Sinjar, home to around 400,000 members of the Kurdish-speaking group, who are followers of an ancient religion.
A United Nations commission denounced the fatal Daesh raid as genocide.
Lead researcher Valeria Cetorelli told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, that “until now, there has not been clarity on the numbers of Izadis killed and captured” in the Daesh attack.
“What we wanted to do, in anticipation of a possible trial, is provide the best estimates that we can get of the people affected,” she added.
The researcher also noted that she had interviewed a random sample of 1,300 surviving Izadi families in Iraqi camps and found that at least 2.5 percent of the minority group were killed or enslaved.
“Our findings are really consistent with other evidence, for example, what is being found in mass graves or accounts from survivors, people who managed to escape captivity,” Cetorelli said. “So all this together can really help support a formal genocide investigation by either the International Criminal Court or another appointed judicial authority.”
Daesh unleashed its campaign of death and destruction in Iraq in 2014, seizing the northern city of Mosul and declaring it as its stronghold in the Arab country.
Since October 2016, the Iraqi army soldiers and allied volunteer fighters have been leading a major operation to retake Mosul.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January and launched another offensive in the west in February.
The full liberation of Mosul would likely spell the end for the Daesh so-called caliphate.