The UN on Monday accused jihadists in Iraq of “ethnic and religious cleansing” as the most senior U.S. military officer warned they will soon threaten America and Europe.
As condemnation of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group mounted, Syria — a pariah over its bloody crackdown on opponents of President Bashar al-Assad’s rule — said it was ready to work with the global community against “terrorism.”
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said abuses by IS and affiliated groups in Iraq against non-Arab ethnic groups and non-Sunni Muslims involved targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, trafficking, and destruction of holy and cultural sites.
“They are systematically targeting men, women and children based on their ethnic, religious or sectarian affiliation and are ruthlessly carrying out widespread ethnic and religious cleansing in the areas under their control,” Pillay said.
“Such persecution would amount to crimes against humanity,” she added, in a statement.