U.N. Security Council condemns ISIS attacks

Displaced demonstrators from the minority Yazidi sect gather during a protest against ISIS militants in Arbil, north of Baghdad August 4, 2014.

Displaced demonstrators from the minority Yazidi sect gather during a protest against ISIS militants in Arbil, north of Baghdad August 4, 2014.

The U.N. Security Council condemned on Tuesday attacks by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, warning those responsible for the bloodshed they would face trial for crimes against humanity, Agence-France Presse reported.

This marks the 15-member Council’s second strong condemnation of the ISIS in the past two weeks, following an offensive that successfully put the main northern city of Mosul under the extremist group’s control on June 10.

The council warned that ISIS posed a threat not only to Iraq and Syria but to “regional peace, security and stability.”

“Widespread or systematic attacks directed against any civilian populations because of their ethnic background, religion or belief may constitute a crime against humanity, for which those responsible must be held accountable,” said the statement read by British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant.

The ambassador singled out the Yazidi minority, a community whose faith is rooted in Zoroastrianism, and who have been targed by jihadists as “devil worshippers.”

The Yazidis and other minorities have “lived for hundreds of years in Sinjar and elsewhere in Nenewa province,” he said, adding that the Council condemned “in the strongest terms” the systematic persecution of these communities.

“Many of these Iraqis have been displaced or forced to flee and seek refuge, while many others have been executed and kidnapped,” said the Council statement.

Iraqi helicopters dropped supplies Tuesday to thousands of people hiding from jihadists in deserted mountains, many of them from the Yazidi minority which officials warned risked being massacred or starved into extinction.

The Council urged Iraqi politicians to come together to form a government to address the threat posed by ISIS, which is under U.N. sanctions as an al-Qaeda affiliate.

On Sunday, fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria jihadist group, who already control large areas of northwestern Iraq, took over Sinjar, which had been under the control of Kurdish Peshmerga troops.

The Yazidi minority, which dwells in the Sinjair region, lost 40 children following a jihadist attack in the Sinjar region, the United Nations Children’s Fund said Tuesday.

“According to official reports received by UNICEF, the children died as a direct consequence of violence, displacement and dehydration over the past two days,” a statement said.

Sinjar was also a temporary home for thousands of displaced people from other minorities, such as Shiite Turkmen who had fled the nearby city of Tal Afar when ISIS launched its offensive on June 9.

 
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