Is­lamic State com­man­ders li­able for mass war crimes, says the UN

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Is­lamic State com­man­ders are li­able for war crimes on a "mas­sive scale" in north­east of Syria, where they spread ter­ror by be­head­ing, ston­ing and shoot­ing civil­ians and cap­tured fight­ers, the U.N. In­ves­ti­ga­tors said on Fri­day.

Their re­port, based on over 300 in­ter­views with wit­nesses and vic­tims, called on world pow­ers to bring the com­man­ders be­fore the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court for both war crimes and crimes against hu­man­ity.

"In car­ry­ing out mass killings of cap­tured fight­ers and civil­ians fol­low­ing mil­i­tary as­saults, ISIS (Is­lamic State) mem­bers have per­pe­trated egre­gious vi­o­la­tions of bind­ing in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian law and the war crime of mur­der on a mas­sive scale," said the re­port.

For­eign fight­ers have swollen the group's ranks and dom­i­nate its lead­er­ship struc­ture, the re­port said. A sep­a­rate U.N. re­port has said 15,000 for- eign­ers have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq.

"The com­man­ders of ISIS have acted wil­fully, per­pe­trat­ing th­ese war crimes... They are in­di­vid­u­ally crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble," the re­port added, say­ing the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Bagh­dadi, wielded "ab­so­lute power".

Paulo Pin­heiro, who chaired the U.N. panel, told a news con­fer­ence that its find­ings would add to a se­cret list of war crimes sus­pects from all sides in Syria's civil war, in which some 200,000 have been killed since March 2011.

Since U.S.-led air strikes be­gan tar­get­ing Is­lamic State in Syria in late Septem­ber, its fight­ers have be­gun tak­ing up po­si­tions in civil­ian houses and farms, lead­ing to civil­ian ca­su­al­ties, the re­port said.

It found that Is­lamic State, also known as ISIS, was de­priv­ing 600,000 peo­ple in the north of de­liv­er­ies of food and med­i­cal aid, and en­forc­ing its rad­i­cal in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Is­lamic law through "mo- ral­ity po­lice".

Th­ese or­dered lash­ings and am­pu­ta­tions for of­fences such as smoking cig­a­rettes or theft; one fe­male den­tist in Deir al-Zor had been be­headed for treat­ing pa­tients of both sexes.

"ISIS has be­headed, shot and stoned men, women and chil­dren in pub­lic spa­ces in towns and vil­lages across north east­ern Syria," the re­port said.

Chil­dren were be­ing pressed to in­form on their par­ents, women stoned for un­ap­proved con­tact with men, and Chris­tians, Kurds and other mi­nori­ties forced to con­vert to Is­lam or pay a tax: "Wit­nesses saw scenes of still-bleed­ing bod­ies hang­ing from crosses, and of heads placed on spikes along park rail­ings."

Among those slaugh­tered in Syria were 200 sol­diers cap­tured from the Tabqa air­base in Raqqa prov­ince, and hun­dreds of mem­bers of the al-Shei­tat tribe in Deir al-Zor.

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