Mass graves of women ‘too old to be Isil sex slaves’ – this is what we’re up against

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 at 11:02 am

In the desert dust of Sinjar, in north west Iraq, a walking stick lies on the ground.

Strewn casually alongside it are a couple of pairs of scissors, some household keys and a shoe. Bank notes flutter in the dirt.

But, if you look a little closer, the scene becomes a horror show. Clumps of hair and fragments of bone poke grotesquely out of the ditch. It is estimated that almost 80 women are buried in this mass grave, aged between 40 and 80-years-old. The bodies are of Yazidi women, murdered by Islamic State butchers.

As the world prayed for Paris, more than three thousand miles east another atrocity was being uncovered.

Last week Kurdish forces – backed by British and American air strikes – liberated Sinjar from Islamic State militants, along with 28 other villages.

They discovered two graves. The first – containing the corpses of older women – was found west of the city’s centre, near the Sinjar Technical Institute. The second was ten miles west, and is believed to contain men, women and children. It is rigged with explosives and deliberately difficult to access.

The Kurdish government team will analyse the bodies in an attempt to uncover the grim story of what happened here.

But let’s be frank: it is not difficult to guess.

Over the past year, Islamic State forces have kidnapped thousands of young Yazidi women to use as sex slaves. Now we know what happened to those not deemed ‘attractive enough’ for them.

French President Francois Hollande has called the sickening atrocities carried out in Paris “an act of war” committed by Isil.

But for the Yazidis, persecuted in Iraq, this is not just a war. It has all the marks of genocide.

Reading about what happened to the Yazidis is difficult. At a time when the west is still mourning the victims of the co-ordinated terror attacks in Paris, more horrific news can seem too much to bear.

But the massacre of the Yazidis cannot be ignored if the true nature of the enemy in Hollande’s ‘war’ is to be understood.

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