Mosul: Iraqi soldiers throw bodies, footage sparks probe, outcry
Date: 2017-07-17 19:29
A graphic video circulating online purportedly showing Iraqi soldiers in Mosul throwing ISIS members to their deaths and then firing at their bodies has sparked an outcry from human rights groups.
The video posted Wednesday shows two ISIS members laying on the ground after being tossed from a building, their bodies twitching as they are sprayed with bullets from the rifles of uniformed men, FOXNEWS reported.
The footage was posted on the Twitter account of an Iraqi man who routinely publishes dispatches from in and around Mosul, Human Rights Watch said.
The watchdog said it used satellite imagery to verify that the video was recorded in the Mosul area, but it was not immediately clear when it was filmed.
The Baghdad government said it was investigating the video and that if it is authentic, those responsible would be brought to justice, the BBC reported.
"In the final weeks of the battle for west Mosul, the pervasive attitude that I have observed among armed forces has been of momentum, the desire to get the battle wrapped up as quickly as possible, and a collapse of adherences to the laws of war,” Belkis Wille, a senior Iraq researcher at Human Rights Watch, told the BBC.
US Central Command said Monday there are still areas of Mosul that must be cleared of explosive devices and there are possible ISIS members hiding, but Iraqi forces now “firmly” have control of the city.
Witnesses have been reporting to Human Rights Watch an increasing number of torture incidents and killings of suspected ISIS members in the Mosul area.
"These reports have been met with congratulations from Baghdad on the victory, only further fostering the feeling of impunity among armed forces in Mosul,” Wille told the BBC.
Kicking, beating and dragging bodies in brutal sadist way
In one video posted to Facebook on Tuesday that was viewed by The Associated Press, soldiers are seen shouting at, kicking and beating several men — apparently captured ISIS members — in a room. One man's shirt is splattered with fresh blood. Several are dragged out of the room.
"Is this one with Daesh or not?" one soldier is heard saying, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS and shouting at a man cowering in a corner.
Another video posted Tuesday was titled: "Our heroes in the Iraqi Army 16th division executing the remnants of Daesh terrorists in Old Mosul," The Associated Press reported. The images show a man in Iraqi Army fatigues gunning down an unarmed man kneeling in front of a car. The rounds fired raised a cloud of dust into the air. The caption said the video was dedicated to the "families of the martyrs (of the Mosul operation)."
Following the announcement of victory in Mosul on Monday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement warning Iraq that if "human rights challenges" are left unaddressed, they will "likely spark further violence and civilian suffering."