Iraq orders exhumation, identification of Yazidi IS victims

This image released by the the Mass Graves Directorate of the Kurdish Regional Government shows a human skull in a mass grave containing Yazidis killed by Islamic State militants in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq in May, 2015. An analysis by The Associated Press has found 72 mass graves left behind by Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, and many more are expected to be discovered as the group loses territory. (Kurdish Mass Graves Directorate via AP)

Baghdad ( Iraq has ordered to open up mass graves to identify the Yazifi victims of Islamic State militants, a source at the health ministry was quoted saying.

Iraqi Almaalomah website said the general secretariat of the Irai cabinet directed the health ministry to immediately open up Yazidi mass graves in Sinjar, the religious minority’s habitat in western Iraq.

The cabinet asked the ministry to use its forensic examiners to start DNA analyses of the remains and to hand them over to their relatives.

A statistic released by the Kurdistan Region Government’s Endowments and Religious Affairs Ministry last July said Islamic State’s massacres of Yazidis forced nearly 360.000 of the religious minority to flee their areas. It said IS had  kidnapped 6417 Yazidis since 2014, the report added. Those included 1102 women and 1655 children, the statistics show, adding that authorities had run into 43 mass graves of Yazidi victims slaughtered by IS,.

Islamic State massacred and enslaved thousands of Yazidis when they overran their Sinjar region, west of Nineveh.

In August, the United Nations said Yazidi atrocities under the Islamic State continued. “The genocide is ongoing and remains largely unaddressed, despite the obligation of States…to prevent and to punish the crime,” the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in a report.

“Thousands of Yazidi men and boys remain missing and the terrorist group continues to subject some 3,000 women and girls in Syria to horrific violence including brutal daily rapes and beatings,” it added.

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