Islamic State terrorists must be defeated with smart strategies rather than heavy-handed measures that could drive more people into the hands of the radicals, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Tuesday.
The UN high commissioner for human rights condemned the group's bombing in Bagdad on Sunday, which has left more than 200 dead and more than 300 wounded.
"Along with other recent abominations associated with ISIL in Dhaka, Istanbul and Orlando, the sheer unrestrained viciousness of these people defies belief," Zeid said in Geneva, using one of the common acronyms for Islamic State.
"We need not just to be stronger than they are, but cleverer than they are," the Jordanian UN rights chief said.
"And in this we are failing badly, not just in Iraq but in a variety of responses all over the world, enabling them to tap into resentments about heavy-handed or unlawful responses to recruit more followers, create more fanatics and suicide bombers,” Zeid warned.
Iraqi authorities must stop militias from taking revenge on civilians who are fleeing towns that are freed from Islamic State control, Zeid demanded.
He highlighted the fate of 600 missing Iraqi civilian men and boys who have been abducted by a government-affiliated milita that was involved in recapturing the city of Fallujah from Islamic State fighters in June.
Some 50 abductees are believed to have been executed or tortured to death in the incident.