Villagers across northern Iraq are speaking out today after burying dozens last week. The communities were attacked by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS.
The assaults began Monday and continued through the week in Brawawchli, Chardaghli, Karanaz, and Bashir. At least 40 persons were murdered and thousands of Iraqis have fled their homes. Dozens of people remain missing.
Witnesses told the Washington Post that ISIS members shot the villagers, including women and children, at point-blank range in the Shiite Turkmen villages. Many of the refugees fled to Kirkuk and Tuz Khormato, where they told reporters what they witnessed.
"You cannot imagine what happened, only if you saw it could you believe it," Hassan Ali told the Associated Press from Kirkuk.
"They hit us with mortars and mortars, and the families fled, and they kept hitting us. It was completely sectarian. The Shiites, out."
The survivors say the militants shouted "God is great!" while they carried out their attack.
Many of the dead were buried in the Shiite Turkmen community of Taza. Mourners said they were executed.
"All shot in the head," one person told the Washington Post.
"Please tell the world," another pleaded. "It was a savage massacre."
A group of women mourned the deaths of Nargis and Massouma Qassim Ibrahim, sisters, aged 10 and 13.
"My brother's girls," one said.
ISIS seeks to establish a Sunni Muslim reign across Iraq and Syria. The terrorist group, led by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, has increased in power substantially since the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in December 2011. The terrorists control the Iraqi cities of Mosul, Baiji, and Fallujah, as well as parts of Syria. The group has also posted photos and videos online showing Iraqi policeman and civilians being slaughtered.
The United Nations reported Tuesday that at least 1,075 people have been killed in Iraq since June began.