More than 200 Mass Graves Discovered in Iraq
Between the year 2014 and 2017, the Islamic State (ISIS), controlled western and northern Iraq where it imposed strict rules on the residents. Women who showed their skin in public or went outside without a male relative would be electrocuted.
When the terror group seized parts of western and northern Iraq, it killed mercilessly. It is estimated that more than 30,000 civilians were executed. Ethnic and religious minorities such as Yazidis and Christians were killed; those that had ties with the government were not spared either.
Basically, the militants targeted those that did not conform with their rule. Sexual orientation would also get you killed among other things. To scare the local residents, even more, ISIL would publicize the killings.
More Than 200 Graves
About 202 mass graves have been discovered and it is not clear how many bodies are contained in a single one. ISIL dug most of the graves in the Nineveh province. Khalifa Sinkhole which is located near Mosul is said to be the largest site where there are said to be thousands of bodies. A report by the UN indicates these graves contains over 12,000 bodies and alleges that more graves could be discovered.
This Confirms Cruelty and Human Loss
Despite there being evidence that ISIL has executed thousands of innocent people, the recent discovery only twists the knife in the wound for most families. Some of their loved ones are yet to be accounted for and as they wish to know what happened to them; their worst fear could be confirmed. Victims suffer under the cruelty of the militants and there has been an extensive human loss.
Identification of the Victims
The victims deserve a proper send off. The United Nations urged the Iraq authorities to do their best and ensure that closure is provided. Proper excavation and preservation of the bodies are critical in ensuring the victims are identified and bodies handed over to the families of the victims.
Thousands Unaccounted for
So far, only a handful of mass graves have been excavated and less than 1,500 bodies have been exhumed. It is a sad state of affairs as there are thousands of people including kids and women that are yet to be accounted for.
There are accused ISIL militants that should be tried in the Iraqi courts. With the recent discoveries and the evidence collected in them, this is paramount in the drive for justice.