Mass grave discovered in Kerkeslokh, believed to contain remains of Yezidi girls killed by Islamic State

KERKESLOKH, Iraq — Iraqi authorities have uncovered a mass grave in Kerkeslokh (Kirkuk) Governorate, where forensic investigations strongly suggest that the site contains the remains of Yezidi girls who were murdered by the Islamic State (ISIS).

The Iraqi Martyrs Foundation has reported the disturbing find in Hawija District, stating that the grave contains hundreds of bodies.

While the wounds inflicted by ISIS are slowly healing, the process is marred by distressing news such as the unearthing of new graves, such as this one, which serves as a painful reminder of the atrocities committed by the terrorist organization in both Iraq and Syria territories.

Abdullah Naeli, the director of the foundation, stated in a press release that the discovery of the grave was made possible through the collaborative efforts of a technical and engineering team comprising the Department for the Protection of Mass Graves, the Department of Forensic Medicine, and the Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD).

Once the remains have been exhumed, the team will hand them over to the Forensic Medicine Department to determine the identities of the victims. This information will be crucial in updating the Unified National Register of Missing Persons, which catalogs those who disappeared in mass graves.

Furthermore, Naeli emphasized that the foundation is working in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross and other relevant international organizations. Their collaboration aims to provide adequate support to the Foundation in the process of discovering and excavating mass graves, ensuring thorough investigations and appropriate handling of the remains.