Don't miss




UK Foreign Secretary victim of Russian prank phone call

Read more


After Iran, North Korea: Trump scraps summit, Macron and Putin react

Read more


Training future football champions in Vietnam

Read more


Guitar Hero: Johnny Marr brings solo work to the stage in Paris

Read more


Presidential meeting signals 'another chapter' in Franco-Rwandan relations

Read more


Macron courts tech giants during Paris summit

Read more


Trade truce: US-China tensions cool, but is a trade war still possible?

Read more


Viva Technology conference opens in Paris as Macron seeks French dominance

Read more


Does the NFL's new ultimatum on kneeling pander to Donald Trump?

Read more

Middle East

ISIS militants killed hundreds of Yazidis, Iraqi minister says

© Safin Ahmed, AFP file picture | A Yazidi woman cries after fleeing the violence in northern Iraq.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-08-11

Militants belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS or ISIL) have killed at least 500 members of the Yazidi ethnic minority, burying some victims alive in a mass grave found in northern Iraq, an official said Sunday.

Iraq’s Human Rights Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said news of the killings had come from people who had escaped from Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, the ancient home of the Yazidis and one of the towns captured by the Sunni militants who view the community as “devil worshipers”.

“We have striking evidence obtained from Yazidis fleeing Sinjar and some who escaped death, and also crime scene images that show indisputably that the gangs of the Islamic States have executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing Sinjar,” Sudani said. “Some of the victims, including women and children were buried alive in scattered mass graves in and around Sinjar.”

He added that about 300 women had also been forced into slavery by the group which now calls itself Islamic State.

ISIS’s advance through northern Iraq has forced tens of thousands to flee, threatened the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region and provoked the first US air strikes in the area since Washington withdrew troops from Iraq in 2011.

President Barack Obama said on Saturday that US air strikes had destroyed arms that ISIS, which has captured swaths of northern Iraq since June, could have used against the Iraqi Kurds, but he warned that there was no quick fix for the crisis that threatens to tear Iraq apart.

US military aircraft have also dropped relief supplies to tens of thousands of Yazidis who have collected on the desert top of Mount Sinjar seeking shelter from the insurgents, who had ordered them to convert to Islam by Sunday or die.

Speaking before US warplanes struck militant targets for the second straight day, Obama said it would take more than bombs to restore stability, and criticised Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Shiite-led government for failing to empower Iraq’s Sunnis.

France joined the calls for Iraq’s feuding leaders to form an inclusive government capable of countering the militants. “Iraq is in need of a broad unity government, and all Iraqis should feel that they are represented in this government,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

“All Iraqis should feel they are represented to take part in this battle against terrorism,” he told a news conference with his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad in comments translated into Arabic on state television.

Maliki’s critics say his sectarian agenda prompted heavily-armed Sunni tribes to join the insurgency. But Maliki, serving in a caretaker capacity since an inconclusive election in April, has defied calls by Sunnis, Kurds, fellow Shiites, regional power broker Iran and Iraq’s top cleric to step aside for a less divisive leader.



Date created : 2014-08-10

  • IRAQ

    France calls for inclusive Iraqi government to counter ISIS advance

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    US launches new air strikes on ISIS militants in Iraq

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    France, Britain to join aid effort in Iraq, says Obama

    Read more