Public executions, amputations, lashings and mock crucifixion are a regular fixture in jihadist-controlled areas of Syria, a UN probe charged Wednesday, also accusing Damascus of repeatedly using chemical weapons against civilians.
“Executions in public spaces have become a common spectacle on Fridays” in parts of Syria under control of the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), the independent Commission of Inquiry on the human rights situation in Syria said.
In its latest report, the four-member commission detailed a litany of horrors committed by IS, including the beheading of boys as young as 15, amputations and lashings in public squares as residents, including children, are forced to watch.
The group “seeks to destroy and remould humanity in its image, wreaking havoc on civilians, minorities and the basic freedoms of women and children,” commission head Paulo Pinheiro told reporters in Geneva. He described how bodies of those killed were placed on public display, “creating an atmosphere of fear and terror.”
IS, which declared a “caliphate” in an area spanning northern Iraq and eastern Syria, is also recruiting and training children as young as 10, with teens being used in active combat and suicide-bombing missions, the report said.
The jihadists, who sparked worldwide outrage last week when they released a video showing the beheading of US journalist James Foley, are guilty of widespread crimes against humanity in Syria, the commission said.