ISIS uses beheadings, other violent acts to crush civilians, UN report says

by Zachary R. Dowdy
November 14, 2014

UNITED NATIONS — Beheadings, stonings and mutilation are common weapons of terror employed by the Islamic State in its campaign to subdue civilian populations that have come under its control in Syria, according to a UN monitoring group.

“ISIS has perpetrated murder and other inhumane acts, enslavement, rape, sexual slavery and violence, forcible displacement, enforced disappearance and torture,” according to a 15-page report released Friday by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. “These acts have been committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population in Aleppo, Ar-Raqqah, Al-Hasakah and Dayr Az-Zawr governorates.”

It documents the group’s violation of international humanitarian law and commission of both war crimes and crimes against humanity as defined by the Geneva Convention.

The report is among the most extensive to document the savagery attributed to the Sunni Islamic group whose origins, the report said, stem from the evolution of an Al Qaida offshoot, Al Qaida in Iraq, which established itself in 2004 and rebranded itself as Islamic State in Iraq in 2006.

That group crossed the Iraq-Syria border after Syria’s civil war broke out in March 2011 and joined other rebel forces aiming to overthrow the Shia-dominated government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. It emerged as one of the most fearsome of the hundreds of groups aligned against Assad and withdrew into northern Syria and relaunched attacks against the Shia-dominated government forces in Iraq earlier this year, marching toward Baghdad and gaining money, oil fields and materiel as it captured cities.

It all but erased the border between Iraq and Syria and called the new area under its control a caliphate, with Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi claiming to be its caliph, wielding absolute control.

The report said that while the group has within its ranks thousands of Syrians, it is composed primarily of foreign fighters.

Civilian populations trapped under the Islamic State’s control have borne the brunt of horrific levels of violence imposed under the group’s interpretation of Sharia law, said the report, which is based on 300 interviews with witnesses. The group employs a kind of “morality police” that conducts constant surveillance of the population, reports violations and metes out punishment.

Suspected adulterers were stoned. In one videotaped case, women accused of the offense were bound at their hands and forced to stand in a shallow grave with veils on as men hurled huge rocks at their heads until they collapsed and died. Enemy fighters or people perceived as traitors were systematically killed by being shot in the head or having their throats cut.

The methods of control, the report said, appear to be systematic and designed to inflict psychological terror on the population to exert maximum control.
WorldSources: IS, al-Qaida reach accord in Syria

Children were forced to watch videos of torture and execution, and to participate in the killings of captured soldiers. Women over the age of 10 must be fully covered when outdoors. Ghastly executions are public and members of ISIS regularly force civilians to attend them. The bodies of the dead are often left on display in public squares for days.

“Witnesses saw scenes of still-bleeding bodies hanging from crosses and of heads placed on spikes along park railings,” the report said.

“The brutal nature and overall scale of abuses is intended to reinforce the group’s absolute monopoly on political and social life to enforce compliance and conformity among communities under their control,” the report said. “Imposition of severe measures disguised as religious edicts has formed part of the attack against the civilian population, in addition to the perpetration of armed violence against civilians, mistreatment of persons taking no active part in hostilities, and violence against identified communities.”

The Commission of Inquiry has also issued reports of abuses committed by the Syrian government’s forces, including torture and mass executions.

  1. #1 by Noble House on Sunday, 16 November 2014 - 3:55 am

    The process to legitimize Islamist terrorism must be exposed as part of the defence of the values of freedom, respect for human rights such are the essential elements of democracy. Freedom is precious. This unholy war is a crime against humanity.

  2. #2 by undertaker888 on Monday, 17 November 2014 - 9:13 am

    This is old desert sh!t they are trying to do here. These are all the dictators own doing. Fertilizing the fiery imams in the past has backfired. Now they are eating what they sowed.

You must be logged in to post a comment.