Daesh militants have killed hundreds of people, including 50 deserters and 180 former Iraqi government employees, around their stronghold of Mosul, UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said yesterday.
The 50 were executed for desertion on Monday at the Ghazlani military base in Mosul, and the 180 died on Wednesday as Daesh was retreating from Gogjali, east of Mosul, she told a UN briefing in Geneva, citing “credible reports” from multiple sources, including from Daesh-occupied areas.
The militants transported 1,600 abducted civilians from the town of Hammam Al-Alil to Tel Afar on Tuesday, possibly for use as human shields against airstrikes, and told some they may be taken to Syria. They also took 150 families from Hammam Al-Alil to Mosul on Wednesday.
“Also on Wednesday, [Daesh] reportedly used loudspeakers to order the residents of Lazaghah and Arij villages, about 5 kilometres from Hammam Al-Alil city centre, to leave their villages or be severely punished,” Shamdasani said.
Militants told residents of Hammam Al-Alil that they must hand over their children, especially boys above the age of nine, in an apparent recruitment drive for child soldiers.
“They’ve been knocking on people’s doors and asking for their boys,” she said, adding that families that did not comply were threatened with severe punishment.
Daesh militants were holding nearly 400 Kurdish, Yazidi and Shia women in Tel Afar, and had possibly killed up to 200 people in Mosul city, she added.
Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service soldiers were engage in fighting against Daesh in six outlying districts of eastern Mosul yesterday in an attempt to expand the army’s foothold in the Daesh stronghold a day after its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, told his fighters there could be no retreat.
Shamdasani said the UN had reports of US-led coalition airstrikes causing civilian deaths during the battle, including one on Wednesday evening that reportedly killed four women and injured 17 other civilians in the Al-Qudus neighbourhood in eastern Mosul.