A new report released by the United Nations shows that terrorism and armed conflict have left nearly 15,000 civilians dead and twice as many wounded in Iraq since the start of 2014 as the conflict-stricken Arab country continues to battle the Takfiri ISIL militants.
According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) report, entitled “Report on the Protection of Civilians in the Armed Conflict in Iraq”, a total of 14,947 Iraqis lost their lives while 29,189 others were injured from the beginning of 2014 until the end of April 2015.
The report shows that the situation of civilians in ISIL-held areas remains dire.
“Civilians continued to be murdered, often in grim public spectacles,” it said, adding those perceived to be opposed to ISIL ideology or affiliated with Iraqi government forces have been systematically abducted, killed or targeted.
The UNAMI report further noted that members of ethnic and religious communities in areas under ISIL control continue to be persecuted, and that as many as 3,500 Izadi Kurds remain in ISIL captivity, suffering physical and sexual violence as well as degrading treatment on a daily basis.
Moreover, ISIL extremists forcibly recruit civilians, among them children, in several troubled Iraqi provinces, namely al-Anbar and Nineveh. Some children are taken to ISIL training camps in neighboring Syria, where they are taught combat skills, learn how to use assault rifles and deal with prisoners, and given lessons in extremist ideology.
“UNAMI continues to have grave concerns for the thousands of civilians subjected to human rights violations on a daily basis, particularly by ISIL,” said Jan Kubis, the special representative of the United Nations secretary general for Iraq.
“Parties to the conflict are required by international human rights law and international humanitarian law to prevent such violations and abuses from taking place and to ensure that civilians are spared to the fullest extent possible from the ongoing violence,” Kubis add
The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by violence ever since Takfiri ISIL militants began their march through Iraqi territory in June 2014.
The heavily-armed terrorists took control of Mosul before sweeping through parts of the country’s heartland.