The Iraqi government said it will be investigating a video apparently showing Iraqi troops throwing captured ISIS fighters off a high ledge and killing them, just days after Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, declared victory over ISIS in the city of Mosul.
The unverified video shows men in uniform throwing a man off a ledge and then shooting him. The video was originally posted on Twitter and then YouTube, but was since removed from YouTube due to its content. American Military News had downloaded the video and uploaded it, and that video is below.
According to the BBC, the Iraqi government said that if the video is authentic, those responsible will be brought to justice.
“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 (HRW), told the BBC.
Several other videos were posted online on Tuesday and Wednesday showing Iraqi troops and police beating ISIS fighters and shooting an unarmed man kneeling in front of a vehicle.
The videos were published on Facebook by Salah al-Imara, an Iraqi who regularly posts information about military activities near Mosul.
There have been several reports of torture incidents and killings of ISIS members in Mosul.
“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.
Human Rights Watch told the BBC that Iraqi forces are detaining thousands of people believed to be affiliated with ISIS under no charge. The group also said more than 170 families of alleged ISIS members were taken to a rehabilitation camp in Bartella, roughly 12 miles east of Mosul.
“Iraqi authorities shouldn’t punish entire families because of their relatives’ actions,” said Lama Fakih, the Mideast deputy chief at HRW. “These abusive acts are war crimes and are sabotaging efforts to promote reconciliation in areas retaken from ISIS.”