Early yesterday morning on Dec. 13, Bas News reported that a mass grave was discovered in northern Iraq near Sinjar, containing the remains of at least 50 people.
The Sinjar region in Iraq is the home of the Yazidi religious minority, and was captured by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014. Thousands of Yazidis were enslaved or killed by ISIS.
In 2016, the U.N.-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Syrian Arab Republic deemed ISIS’ systematic destruction of the Yazidi people as a genocide and called for decisive steps against the group to prevent further atrocities.
As ISIS faces total military defeat in Iraq and Syria, evidence of their short but brutal reign is being uncovered.
This mass grave is one among a growing list of mass graves discovered in the Yazidi regions of Iraq.
“Men, women and children executed by the Islamic State group when they controlled the region,” a local official told The New Arab on Nov. 22, upon the discovery of a mass grave that contained the bodies of 73 people.
On Dec. 2, two more mass graves were discovered by Iraqi paramilitary forces, containing 140 civilians who were mostly Yazidi.
Sinjar’s mayor, Mahma Khalil said that since 2015, around 40 mass graves have been unearthed, and that “all the victims were Yazidis.”
The city of Sinjar was largely destroyed by ISIS, but the remaining Yazidi residents have spoken hopefully about its reconstruction.
Khalil spoke with VOA News, saying the “people of Sinjar have very painful memories about the IS massacre in this town and they don’t want to return… we’re working on a new Sinjar that will be built according to standards of modern cities.”