Iraq tells United Nations that ISIS committed genocide

Kurdish peshmerga forces look at bones in a mass grave on the outskirts of the town of Sinjar Iin Iraq on February 3. Police said the mass grave contained remains from 25 people belonging to the minority Yazidi sect, apparent victims of killings by I
Kurdish peshmerga forces look at bones in a mass grave on the outskirts of the town of Sinjar Iin Iraq on February 3. Police said the mass grave contained remains from 25 people belonging to the minority Yazidi sect, apparent victims of killings by ISIS militants.-- PHOTO: REUTERS

UNITED NATIONS (REUTERS) - Iraq told the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday that ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) militants have committed genocide.

"These terrorist groups have desecrated all human values. They have committed the most heinous criminal terrorist acts against the Iraqi people whether Shi'ite, Sunni, Christians, Turkmen, Shabak or Yazidis," Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said.

"These are in fact crimes of genocide committed against humanity that must be held accountable before international justice," he told the U.N. Security Council.

Alhakim did not give further details of the crimes.

The country's Shi'ite-led government, backed by U.S.-led air strikes, has been trying to push back ISIS since it swept through mainly Sunni Muslim provinces of northern Iraq in June. At the time, the militants met virtually no resistance.

Alhakim said Iraq needed more help to liberate all areas under Islamic State control.

UN Assistant Secretary-General for human rights Ivan Simonovic said in October that the campaign of ISIS militants against Iraq's Yazidi minority may be attempted genocide.

UN envoy to Iraq, Nikolay Mladenov, said he was gravely concerned about the safety of Iraq's diverse ethnic and religious communities in areas under ISIS control, particularly thousands of women and children still in captivity.

"Almost daily terrorist attacks continue to deliberately target all Iraqis, most notably the Shi'ite community, as well as ethnic and religious minorities, across the country," he told the Security Council.

"Equally worrying is the increasing number of reports of revenge attacks committed particularly against members of the Sunni community in areas liberated from (ISIS) control," he said.

Mladenov urged the Iraqi government to quickly provide military and financial help it had pledged to local leaders and tribal fighters to take on Islamic State, but warned against just a military solution.

"For Iraq to move forward, it is crucial that this fragile process of inclusion also expands to the political sphere,"Mladenov said. "An exclusively military solution to the problem of (ISIS) is impossible, indeed it would be counterproductive."