IS slave markets have sprung up across Iraq have been used by the terror group as a way to recruit new fighters. Photo Credit: Karl-Ludwig Poggemann / Flickr, Anadolu Agency/Dursun Aydemir
An estimated 150 women, some of them pregnant, have been executed by Islamic State fighters in the western Iraqi province of Al-Anbar for refusing to become sex slaves to the militants.
The Anadolu news agency reports following the executions, which were carried out in Fallujah, ISIS militants buried the victims in mass graves in one of the city's neighborhoods.
"At least 150 females, including pregnant women, were executed in Fallujah by a militant named Abu Anas Al-Libi after they refused to accept jihad "marriage," a statement from Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights said. "Many families were also forced to migrate from the province's northern town of Al-Wafa after hundreds of residents received death threats."
The reports adds that Mmany Iraqi children have died after their families were forced by ISIS militants to flee to the desert.
Western Iraq is currently under the control of the Islamic State, which has viciously purged the region of Christian and Yazidi minorities. ISIS fighters regard themselves as entitled to use captured women as sex slaves, viewing them as "spoils of war."
"When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman"s previous marriage is immediately annulled," explains Christian author and Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer.
"[However] Islam avoids the appearance of impropriety, declaring that the taking of these sex slaves does not constitute adultery if the women are already married, for their marriages are ended at the moment of their capture," he continues.
In September, ISIS militants abducted between 1,500 and 4,000 women and children from the Christian and Yazidi community, according to the U.S. State Department.
A sobering report released in November reveals that not only are the militants forcefully marrying the captured women, they are also selling girls as young as one years old into sex slavery to fund their army.
The document, issued by ISIS, shows a full list of prices as well as some basic rules for who was permitted to buy the girls and when. It also claims that anyone violating the price controls will be killed, the Iraqi News reports.
Islamic State militants have justified its enslavement of Christians in its online magazine, "Dabiq."
"One should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar -- the infidels -- and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah, or Islamic law," the group announced.
UN high commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein has said if defeated, ISIS militants will be punished harshly for their crimes.
"The array of violations and abuses perpetrated by ISIL and associated armed groups is staggering, she told the Daily Mail, "and many of their acts may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity."