ISIS committed genocide against Yazidis, UN investigation concludes

Experts say they established convincing evidence that ISIS committed genocide against the Yazidi as a religious group.

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A United Nations team inspecting massacres in Iraq found “clear and compelling evidence” that ISIS committed genocide against the Yazidi minority in 2014, the head of the team has said, adding that the armed group successfully developed chemical weapons and used mustard gas.

In a report to the UN Security Council on Monday, Karim Khan said the team had also concluded that ISIS committed war crimes against predominantly Shia unarmed cadets and personnel from the Tikrit Air Academy who were captured, tortured and subjected to mass killings in June 2014.

He said an ISIS video released in July 2015 showing the killings “constitutes a direct and public incitement to commit genocide against Shia Muslims.”

The Security Council voted unanimously in September 2017 to ask the UN to establish an investigative team to help Iraq preserve evidence and promote accountability for what may amount to “war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide” committed by ISIS, in Iraq and the Levant region, which includes Syria.

In his sixth report to the council, Khan said the Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by ISIS (UNITAD) rapidly expanded the amount of evidence it has over the past six months.

He said, “significant developments” in collecting forensic evidence from mass grave sites, digital data extracted from hard drives that belonged to ISIS, digitalization of case files, and the use of advanced technological tools to process and search databases has allowed the team “to establish clear timelines of the activities of key ISIS members.”

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