Islamic State militants claim the capture, enslavement and sale of thousands of Yazidi women and children had been ordered by God in a magazine purportedly published by the terror group.
The latest issue of Dabiq was released yesterday and attempts to justify the militants' snaring of thousands of innocent Yazidis during an assault on the Iraqi city of Sinjar in August.
Explaining why Yazidis have been sold into sex slavery while those from other groups have not, the magazine claims Islamic Sharia law allows the enslavement of innocent 'polytheists and pagans' but not of those the militants regard as simply heretical.
Tens of thousands of Yazidis were forced to flee for their lives - many of them into the nearby Sinjar mountains and then into Kurdish-held regions of northern Iraq.
However many were captured by the militants, resulting in the massacre of hundreds of men and the selling into slavery of women and children, after they were first divided up between ISIS fighters.
ISIS' claim to have enslaved and sold Yazidi women and children came as Human Rights Watch said hundreds of Yazidis from Iraq continue to be held captive in makeshift detention facilities.
Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled into the Sinjar Mountains after the militant onslaught on Sinjar, part of ISIS' lightning advance into north and western Iraq.
Iraq's Human Rights Ministry said at the time that hundreds of women were abducted by the militants, who consider the Yazidis, a centuries-old religious minority, a heretical sect.
The issue of Dabiq magazine released on Sunday stated that 'the enslaved Yazidi families are now sold by the Islamic State soldiers.'
It added that 'the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Shariah amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated in the Sinjar operations.'
Attempting to justify the move, the magazine said Sharia law differentiates between female Muslims from 'heretical' sects, and those from groups such as the Yazidids, who are considered pagans.
'This large-scale enslavement of mushrik families is probably the first since the abandonment of this Sharia law,' the article says, referring to the enslavement of Yazidis.
'The only other known case - albeit much smaller - is that of the enslavement of Christian women and children in the Philippines and Nigeria by the mujahedeen there.'
Most of the Yazidis are now displaced in northern Iraq, many having lost loved ones in their flight to safety. Some say that women and girls were snatched during the militant raid.
In one section of the magazine, a statement attributed to Mohammed al-Adnani, the spokesman for the Islamic State group, read: 'We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women,' addressing those who do not subscribe to its hardline interpretation of Islam.
The magazine's release came as New York-based Human Rights Watch said the group 'separated young women and teenage girls from their families and has forced some of them to marry its fighters.'
One woman told Human Rights Watch that she saw Islamic State fighters buying girls, and a teenage girl said a fighter bought her for $1,000, the report said.
The Associated Press independently has interviewed a number of Yazidi women and girls who escaped captivity and several claimed that they were sold to Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria.