International community should focus on "underlying struggle for minds" in Iraq

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Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

The international community should focus on the "underlying struggle for minds" in Iraq as it attempts to defeat terrorist groups like the Islamic State, also known as ISIL.

That's what the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein told the Security Council on Tuesday.

He said that while there has been a significant military effort to defeat ISIL, little attention had been paid to winning the widespread support of Iraqis.

ISIL continues to carry out beheadings, as well as torture and rape in areas it controls in Iraq and Syria.

Mr Al Hussein said the group has emerged out of years of conflict.

"The scale and violence of ISIL’s brutality towards civilians shreds every principle relevant to human rights. And yet their fanaticism has flourished in part because of the damage wrought by years of conflict in Iraq."  (16″)

Mr Al Hussein added that the offences committed in Iraq are of such a scale that ISIL would be "undeniably" guilty of war crimes.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations

Duration:  1’07″

 

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