Yazidi refugees flee for their lives from Islamic State forces near the Syrian border, August 11..
(photo credit: RODI SAID / REUTERS)
According to a new UN report released Monday, atrocities committed by the Islamic State are liable to be officially classified as genocide.
"Many of the violations and abuses perpetrated by ISIL [Islamic State] may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide," the report says.
A joint effort issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq and the UN high Commissioner for Human Rights, the report details the abuses against Turkmen, Shabaks, Christians, Yazidi, Sabaeans, Kaka’e, Faili Kurds, Arab Shi'ite communities and posits that at least 165 executions were carried out by the Islamic State group's 'courts' in the areas it controls.
The charge of genocide is described in the report as "a deliberate policy aimed at destroying, suppressing or expelling these communities permanently from areas under their control."
At least 11,602 civilians were killed and 21,766 wounded in 2014, according to UN figures, which also cited January as one of the deadliest months in recent years, with over 1,300 killed in terrorist acts.
The Islamic State group has repeatedly targeted non-Muslims in the past with extreme prejudice.
Last year the jihadist group sparked the mass flight of some 5,000 Yazidis who fled their persecutors by holing up in the Sinjar mountain, a remote area in northwestern Iraq where they remained at risk of starvation and exposure to the harsh elements.
The majority of the refugees belonging to the besieged religious minority were eventually rescued by Kurdish forces who successfully opened a road to the mountain under cover of US airstrikes.
While the report is limited to Iraq, proof of the Islamic State's persecution of minority groups is evident elsewhere.
On Tuesday the Britain based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that militants from the Islamic State abducted some 90 Assyrian Christians in Syria
A week prior to the recent abductions in Syria, members claiming allegiance to the self-styled caliphate had executed 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya.