Reports, videos, and other accounts are circulating the web, detailing ISIS’s butchery and providing evidence that they are carrying out acts of genocide. While the total death toll remains unknown, almost certainly thousands of innocent civilians have died.
ISIS has essentially declared war on all non-Muslims, and also any Muslims that do not adhere to their strict Sunni beliefs. While the total death toll remains unknown, it is likely that ISIS has killed thousands of people in Northern Iraq and who knows how many more in Syria.
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As of yet, no power has emerged to challenge ISIS. World powers, such as the United States, have offered some tacit support, and even carried out air strikes. Sunni and Shia leaders in Iraq keep promising to combat ISIS, and yet neither group has managed to drum up the support to launch a major counter offensive.
Meanwhile, the Kurds have secured some victories against ISIS, pushing them back from Kurdish lands and retaking a major dam outside of Mosul. Regardless, the Kurds have shown little appetite for doing any more than securing their own territory.
Most Recent Attacks Follows Numerous “Ignored” Genocides
Following the horror and aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide, world leaders promised “never again.” Of course, world leaders had already promised this after the Holocaust and the United Nations itself was supposed to be an organization designed from the ground up to prevent any such genocidal acts.
Then Cambodia and the Pol Pot regime came. So too did numerous genocides across Africa. Time and time again, the world looked the other way as thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions of innocent people were killed. When the Rwandan Genocide hit, however, advances in the means of communication meant that the world could no longer look away.
When the modern world saw the butchery in near live time, in full color, it shocked many. Following the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, leaders once again promised that it would never happen again. And yet, mass murder videos are pouring in over the Internet, and even conservative “confirmed” deaths by the UN total at least 5,500.
ISIS Targeting Non-Sunni Peoples
With the UN and other agencies all but expelled from Northern Iraq, where ISIS is now carrying out the bulk of its attacks, the death toll is almost certainly higher. The UN is now reporting that at least 670 prisoners at the Badush Prison were killed.
So far, the attacks carry the distinct mark of genocide: entire peoples’ are being targeted for their beliefs and ethnicity. When the prisoners from the Badush prison were executed, Sunni Muslims were set free while everyone else was executed.
Meanwhile, the Yazidi are facing a particularly harsh persecution from ISIS, with militant forces chasing them into the mountains and often killing them on sight. The Yazidi population practices an ancient form of Zoroastrianism and live primarily in Northern Iraq, or outside of the Middle East all-together.
World Responding, But Not In Force
The American military has launched limited air strikes against ISIS forces in Iraq. The American military also airlifted supplies to stranded Yazidi groups in the mountains in Northern Iraq and other world powers are also sending supplies.
While the world military response may prove to be enough to stop ISIS from expanding its territory, which at roughly 13,000 square miles is now roughly the size of Jordan, little is being done to push the group back or eliminate it all-together.
If ISIS is going to be pushed back and ultimately defeated, a major response by a coalition of powers will be needed. There are rumors that U.S. and British Special Forces are creating a “super squad” to fight ISIS. Still, until regional and world military powers work together to defeat ISIS, their power and territory will only continue to expand.