Proof of the horrors local residents were subjected to during more than six months of occupation was revealed on Sept. 19 in a dark and dust-filled basement under the police station in Izium, a strategic city in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region that was liberated in its latest offensive. Among the instruments used to terrorize people were Soviet-era gas masks that had been modified to prevent the victim from being able to breathe once it was placed on the face.
More than four years on, the Islamic State group has been forced from Mosul and no longer occupies towns or cities anywhere in Iraq or Syria. But its brutal legacy remains, under mounds of rubble, in ruined homes and fields.
Media attention of the crimes of ISIS have focused on attacks against Iraq’s Yazidi minority group. But another minority group, the Turkmen, also suffered terrible violence, and only now, slowly, is the embattled community piecing together its own story.