Islam World

ISIS buried thousands in 72 mass graves, AP finds

In exclusive interviews, photos and research, The Associated Press has documented and mapped 72 of the mass graves scattered in ISIS controlled areas. In Syria, AP has obtained locations for 17 mass graves, including one with the bodies of hundreds of members of a single tribe all but exterminated when ISIS extremists took over their region. For at least 16 of the Iraqi graves, most in territory too dangerous to excavate, officials do not even guess the number of dead. 

 

 

In exclusive interviews, photos and research, The Associated Press has documented and mapped 72 of the mass graves scattered in ISIS controlled areas. In Syria, AP has obtained locations for 17 mass graves, including one with the bodies of hundreds of members of a single tribe all but exterminated when ISIS extremists took over their region. For at least 16 of the Iraqi graves, most in territory too dangerous to excavate, officials do not even guess the number of dead. 

Still, even the known numbers of victims buried are staggering — from 5,200 to more than 15,000.

Sinjar mountain, Iraq’s 100-kilometre-long mountain range in the north, is dotted with mass graves, some in territory clawed back from ISIS after the group’s onslaught against the Yazidi minority in August 2014; others in the deadly no man’s land that has yet to be secured.

Following the release of the AP research, the State Department noted that it is providing assistance to Iraqi authorities for the investigation of mass graves.

“Sadly, we anticipate that additional mass graves will be discovered as additional lands are liberated from ISIS,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

Then there are the graves still out of reach. The so-called Islamic State group’s atrocities extend well outside the Yazidi region in northern Iraq.

Of the 72 mass graves documented by AP, the smallest contains three bodies; the largest is believed to hold thousands, but no one knows for sure.

 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button