Iraq’s Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitaries have discovered 10 mass graves in areas they recently captured from ISIS militants in the Shingal region. These areas previously have been inaccessible to families of the victims, as well as local and international investigators. Rudaw’s Tahseen Qasim in Shingal reported that the Hashd al-Shaabi located three mass graves in the Siba Sheikh Khidir complex in the south of Shingal and another two in the Girzirgski complex. Qasim added five more mass graves were also discovered in Kocho village. Representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Government have used satellite imagery to identify many areas that likely contain mass graves; however, because of safety concerns and political differences, Kurdish investigators have been unable to go actually to the sites on the ground even when survivors like Yezidis provide testimony and evidence. A Yezidi member of the Iraqi parliament announced yesterday through a statement on the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) website that Yezidis will soon open an online repository for the documentation of ISIS atrocities. “We will launch an online museum in the near future in order to be able to document all the atrocities committed against our community,” Vian Dakhil wrote in the statement. “Everyone could send their stories to the museum and their evidence will officially in one of the documenting agencies in the world will be registered”. Kocho, the hometown of the UN Goodwill Ambassador Nadia Murad, is a symbol of ISIS atrocities against Yezidi people. It is 18 kilometers south of Shingal town. Some 4,000 Yezidis used to inhabit it. When ISIS militants attacked Shingal and its surroundings in August 2014, they arrested thousands of Yezidis, many from the village of Kocho. Some of them were collectively killed in the village, other girls and women were sold or taken by ISIS members. The fates of thousands of Yezidis still remain unclear. “There have been over 40 mass graves found in Sinjar. I am horrified by the thought of the remains of six of my brothers in those graves, along with 700 other Yazidis who were summarily executed on the 15th of August 2014,” Murad said earlier this week. She partially laid the blame on the international community for what happened against the Yeizids by ISIS, explaining that in the period before the group besieged Kocho — prior to the massacre — Yezidis had asked for help. “Kocho is one of the capital crimes of 21st century”, she added. “It is with this in mind that I ask the liberating and security forces to preserve all findings, so there will be living evidence of the Islamic State crimes forever”. Shiite forces force announced it had reached the Syrian border on Monday. The Hashd al-Shaabi “made a miracle in the month of Ramadan” with their arrival at the Syrian border, Hadi al-Amiri, the secretary general of the Badr Organization, an influential military wing within the Hashd al-Shaabi, stated in an announcement published on their website. Last week the force declared it had cleared the town of Qairawan and its 13 villages and complexes, of which many were predominately Yezidi.
The Iraqi Higher Judicial Council released a report on Wednesday (May 10) saying that the Islamic State (ISIS) is using remittance companies and selling goods to the Iraqi market in order to create funds. The judicial council report also said security forces had detained a number of ISIS militants who were responsible for ISIS finances in the country. A number of investigative prosecutors told the judicial council that a number of the detainees worked in the group finding methods to receive money. The judicial council said ISIS receives money from rich people in neighboring countries through remittance companies. “A large amount of the money which is sent through remittance companies is transmitted to Baghdad”, the report added. “A person who receives the money says the money has been transferred to him to buy houses, cars or refineries. It is repeated twice a month”. The report also stated that ISIS is receiving money through indirect ways such as selling goods to the Iraqi market to obtain money. The goods are traded cheaply so as to be sold rapidly. The report comes after ISIS loses territories it captured in the country during its swift advance in 2014. The militant group is now facing a big loss after Iraqi forces liberated the eastern side of Mosul in February.
Iraqi forces continue to engage in intensive fighting against ISIS militants for the third day in northwestern areas of Mosul after it opened a new front against the extremist group last Thursday. Rudaw’s cameras have captured large plumes of smoke rising over the skyline of western Mosul Saturday as Iraqi forces, backed by their fighter jets and that of the US-led global coalition, bombed ISIS positions in the last remaining districts northwest of the city, and the now ISIS stronghold of Old Mosul. Brigadier General Yahya Rassol, the spokesperson for Iraq’s joint command, told Rudaw Friday that their forces now controll Mushairafa One, Two and Three, Mikhail Monastery northwest of Mosul, as well as Hawi Kanisa. Continued clashes have been reported Saturday morning in some of these acclaimed liberated districts, with ISIS using at least one car bomb, Rudaw’s Sidad Lashkri who is embedded with Iraqi forces reported from Mosul. The Iraqi forces had faced strong resistance when they tried to make advances against the ISIS militants in Old Mosul, where it is more densely populated and the streets are narrower than the eastern part of the city. As a result, Iraqi armed forces were forced to shift the focus and instead open a new front in northwestern Mosul. The ISIS militants are now “besieged” in all areas they control in Mosul and are “under the fireline” of the Iraqi forces, Brig. Gen. Rasool told Rudaw. He also said that they have so far captured 70 percent of western Mosul, adding that ISIS territory has shrunk significantly compared to what it once was more than two and a half years ago. He said ISIS used to control 40 percent of Iraq when it captured large parts of the country, including Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. It now controls less than 7 percent, he noted. ISIS is still in control of the Turkmen town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, Hawija,south of Kirkuk, and several places in the Anbar province west of the country, including al-Qaim and Rawa, near the Syrian border. Commenting on an Iraqi airstrike that ISIS claimed killed scores of civilians, Rassol denied the accusations.
Investigations, and repression has started in Egypt after the two terrorist attacks in the country. At least seven suspected Isis militants have been killed in a shoot-out on Monday (10 April) in the southern Egyptian city of Assiut, the country’s interior ministry said. According to official informations, the 7 killed had previous other attacks against Coptic community in net weeks. Some protest are also growing in the country, Coptic community explained that security last Sunday wasn’t working.
The site was revealed by an eyewitness, an unidentified member of Hashid Shaabi, a state-run umbrella for Shia paramilitary groups. Human Rights Watch said in a report that as many as 600 people were killed in the Badush prison massacre, which took place on the same day that ISIS militants captured Mosul in June 2014. There, they separated a few Sunni and Christian inmates from the rest, who were overwhelmingly Shia, before forcing them to form one long line along the edge of a ravine and machine-gunning them down.