The UN's top human rights body has approved an Iraqi government request to investigate alleged crimes against civilians committed by Islamic State (IS) militants in northern and western Iraq.
The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva unanimously agreed to a nearly $1.2 million fact-finding mission to Iraq to investigate atrocities reportedly committed by IS insurgents.
Any evidence could be used for international war-crimes prosecution.
Iraqi Human Rights Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani told the council before the vote that "we are facing a terrorist monster."
Flavia Pansieri, the UN deputy high commissioner for human rights, said the IS militants' persecution of ethnic and religious groups likely amount to crimes against humanity.
But she added that Iraqi forces' purported execution of detainees and its shelling of civilian areas controlled by Islamic militants may also be war crimes.