- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2015

The Islamic State terrorist group committed genocide against Iraq’s Yazidi minority in the northern part of the country and carried out crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and war crimes against other minorities, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum claimed in a new report.

“We found that IS committed mass atrocities to control, expel, and exterminate ethnic and religious minorities in areas it seized,” the report said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

The militant group mainly targeted Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shabak, Sabaen-Mandaean and Kaka’i people in the Nineveh province between June and August 2014, according to the report from the museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. The extremists’ crimes against the Yazidi people specifically was labeled genocide.

“We believe Islamic State has been and is perpetrating genocide against the Yazidi people,” the report said. “Islamic State’s stated intent and patterns of violence against Shia Shabak and Shia Turkmen also raise concerns about the commission and risk of genocide against these groups.”

The report warned that the extremists are still committing such crimes against women and children who have been kidnapped.

The United Nations in March raised concerns that the terrorist group may have committed genocide against the Yazidi minority community and urged the U.N. Security Council to refer the issue to the International Criminal Court for prosecution.

But because the atrocities have taken place in Iraq and Syria, which are not members of the Hague-based court, the U.N. prosecutor cannot open an investigation unless a referral is made by the 15-member Security Council.

Of around 5,000 Yazidi men and women captured by the militants in the summer of 2014, some 2,000 have managed to escape or been smuggled out of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate, activists say. The rest remain in captivity.

“Men, women, and children who were kidnapped and are still being held by Islamic State continue to be the victims of atrocity crimes. Their release must be a priority,” the museum report said.

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