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UN to discuss ‘intolerable abuses’ in Iraq
August 7, 2014, 8:06 pm

 Displaced Iraqis fleeing Iraq following an offensive by Islamic State (IS) militants have been settled in homes in Turkey's southern province of Mardin. Tens of thousands of Iraqis mainly Yazidi families, living in Iraq's Sinjar district bordering Syria were desperately trying to escape the country  for fear of massacres by the militants [Xinhua]

Displaced Iraqis fleeing Iraq following an offensive by Islamic State (IS) militants have been settled in homes in Turkey’s southern province of Mardin. Tens of thousands of Iraqis mainly Yazidi families, living in Iraq’s Sinjar district bordering Syria were desperately trying to escape the country for fear of massacres by the militants [Xinhua]


United Nations permanent Security Council member France has called for an emergency meeting to mobilize the international community amid reports of war crimes and abuses committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL – or ISIS) against Christian and Yazidi minorities in northern Iraq.

The Associated Press quoted French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius as saying that his country was “very deeply concerned by the … seizure of Qaraqoush, Iraq’s biggest Christian village, and by the intolerable abuses committed.”

France’s announcement came as US media reported that President Barack Obama could order a humanitarian air drop of food and medicines to tens of thousands of civilians who have been stranded in the mountains of Iraq’s north as they sought refuge from ISIL’s advances.

There is speculation in US media as Obama calls for a meeting of his senior advisors that the US could also use airstrikes to curb the ISIL advance.

On Sunday, heavily armed ISIL fighters seized the northwestern towns of Zumar and Sinjar after heavy fighting with Iraqi Kurdish fighters that lasted nearly 24 hours.

They have since seized Iraq’s Mosul Dam, formerly known as Saddam Dam – a strategic victory for the Islamist fighters as they now control water supply to large swathes of Iraq. Blowing the dam would flood major cities and towns between Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, and Baghdad.

Fabius is seeking a measure to protect the civilian populations and the religious minorities that are the most threatened by ISIL’s forces.

The United Nations Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) warned that it fears for the safety for tens of thousands of members of the minority Yazidi sect who were among the newly displaced refugees.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that at least 40 Yazidi children had died of thirst in the mountains near Sinjar.

Unverified stories told by fleeing refugees indicated that ISIL may have executed a large number of Christian, Yazidi and Muslim men who refused to acknowledge their rule.

The Baghdad government’s hold on Iraq began to unravel when fighters belonging to a coalition of Islamist militant groups operating under the ISIL banner seized the ethnically mixed city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, in June.

With their fighters entrenched in Mosul and most of Nineveh, the former Al-Qaeda affiliates – who have maintained a brutal campaign against the forces of President Bashar Al-Assad in neighbouring Syria – now effectively control a third of Iraq.

In late July, Mosul was emptied of its Christian minority for the first time in more than 1,800 years as many fled after an ISIL ultimatum that they convert to Islam or face death.

Source: Agencies

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