Amnesty International accused – in a recent report on Tuesday, Oct. 18 – the Shi’a militias, known as the Popular Mobilization Units, as well as Iraqi government forces of committing “serious human rights violations, including war crimes, by torturing, arbitrarily detaining, forcibly disappearing and extrajudicially executing thousands of civilians who have escaped areas controlled by the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS).” These violations and acts of revenge were committed by the Shi’a militias and the Iraqi government forces during the battle to retake Mosul froMosulAm ISIS early Monday, reported CNN Arabic.
“After escaping the horrors of war and tyranny of IS, Sunni Arabs in Iraq are facing brutal revenge attacks at the hands of militias and government forces, and are being punished for crimes committed by the group,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
“Iraq is currently facing very real and deadly security threats from IS, but there can be no justification for extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture or arbitrary detention.
“As the battle to retake Mosul gets underway, it is crucial that the Iraqi authorities take steps to ensure these appalling abuses do not happen again. States supporting military efforts to combat IS in Iraq must demonstrate they will not continue to turn a blind eye to violations,” said the Amnesty report.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had warned about the possibility of sectarian violence: “The insistence that Turkey be left out of the Mosul operation is because we would prevent a sectarian conflict there.”
Turkish officials previously referred to troops going to Mosul to prevent any potential sectarian conflict in and around the city after it is taken from Daesh.
“We cannot say ‘yes’ to a Sunni-Shia conflict,” Erdogan said.