Yezidi mass graves found in northern Iraq after ISIS departure

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Kurdish forces of the Peshmerga showing respect to Yezidis murdered by ISIS in northern Iraq. File photo

ARA News 

ERBIL – A least three mass graves belong to the Yezidi Kurds have been found in the region of Sinjar (Shingal) west of Mosul, Kurdish officials and local activists reported on Sunday.

Sinjar was liberated by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces two weeks ago, subsequent to fierce battles against the radical group of the Islamic State (ISIS). 

The victims are believed to have been executed after the terror group seized the region in mid-June 2014.

The Peshmerga forces confirmed that one of the mass graves was filled with explosives.

The special teams, which have been inspecting traces of the people disappeared during the group’s rule over the Yezidi-populated region, have so far discovered several mass graves belonging to Yezidi civilians. 

The victims were mostly women and children, according to human rights activists and Peshmerga officials who spoke to ARA News. 

The mass graves found in the area of Solagh in Sinjar include entire families, most of them were identified as residents of the village of Kojo in the devastated Yezidi region. Another mass grave has been dug near the village of Hamdin, most of its victims were also from Kojo, while the third grave was found in the area of Merkan.

Speaking to ARA News in Duhok, human rights activist Kawa Eido confirmed that “many mass graves” were found in Shingal (Sinjar) district and the surrounding villages and towns. 

“A special committee was formed to document atrocities committed by Daesh,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

Western organizations expressed their willingness to assist the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraqi Kurdistan in documenting the crimes committed by the ISIS terrorists against Yezidi civilians in northern Iraq, according to Eido.

He pointed out that Nineveh plain and Sinjar region are considered stricken areas, as its people need urgent compensation for all the massive damage caused by the conflict there.

“An international resolution should be legislated for the crimes committed by Daesh terrorists against Yezidis,” Eido said, pointing out “this demand was also recognized by the central Iraqi Parliament and the Council of Ministers of the Kurdistan Region.” 

In August, the Kurdish Peshmerga found mass graves contained more than 70 corpses of Yezidi victims, including women and children, who have been buried by ISIS militants after being summarily executed in northern Shingal.

Reporting by: Sarbaz Yousef

Source: ARA News

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