Amnesty Condemns ISIL 'Ethnic-Cleansing' in Iraq
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Amnesty International, in a report published Tuesday, accused the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group of "systematic ethnic-cleansing" and mass killings of minorities in northern Iraq.
Citing "hair-raising" accounts from survivors of massacres, the rights group said the militants committed "war crimes, including mass summary killings and abductions".
"The massacres and abductions being carried out by the Islamic State (also known as ISIL) provide harrowing new evidence that a wave of ethnic cleansing against minorities is sweeping across northern Iraq," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty's Senior Crisis Response Adviser currently in northern Iraq.
The radical ISIL has pressed a campaign of terror in areas under its control in Syria and Iraq, which it has declared a "caliphate," carrying out decapitations, crucifixions and public stonings.
In June, the group launched a lightning offensive in Iraq, overrunning parts of five provinces and targeting minorities there including Yazidis on Mount Sinjar, Shiite Turkmen and Christians.
The Amnesty report -- named "Ethnic cleansing on historic scale: the Islamic State's systematic targeting of minorities in northern Iraq" -- provides witness accounts of mass killings, AFP reported.
The watchdog said two of the "deadliest" incidents took place in the Yazidi villages of Qiniyeh and Kocho on August 3 and August 15 respectively.
"The number of those killed in these villages alone runs into the hundreds," it said.
Survivors said jihadists rounded up men and boys, bundled them into vehicles and drove them away "to be massacred in groups or shot individually".