Thousands have been killed, maimed, and displaced over the last two years in what a new United Nations report characterized as the “untold suffering” of Iraqi civilians.
The report, released Tuesday, provides some “staggering” figures related to the horrors of life in Iraq in the time of ISIS. According to the UN, between the start of 2014 and October 31 of last year, 18,802 Iraqis were killed, 36,245 were wounded, 3.2 million were displaced, and 3,500 others, mainly women and children, have been enslaved by Islamic State fighters.
Worst of all, perhaps, the issuers of the report fear that their estimates may be low and that their assessments of the carnage, which were collected by the UN from interviews with survivors and witnesses, may not fully reflect the situation.
The charges of systematic violence mainly focus on Islamic State activity—one grim entry in an attached glossary involves the acronym “SVBIED” for suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. Stories from the collected testimonies involve abuses including the killing of women who refused to have sex with ISIS fighters, the public bulldozing of a crowd, drownings, decapitations, and the killing and abduction of minorities.