A commander in Iraq’s Federal Police was filmed telling wounded soldiers that he and his men had avenged their extensive losses by “wiping out” entire neighbourhoods of Mosul.
— قناة الرافدين (@rafidenchannel) April 23, 2017
The officer, who has been identified as Lieutenant General Shakir Jawdat, told his wounded men how he had avenged them, using examples of other decimated Sunni Arab towns and cities:
See how Fallujah became nothing but a story? How Tikrit, Baiji, Jurf Al-Sakhar and the Jazira, all of them became an example…We avenged you 100 per cent, by Allah we wiped out the entire district using artillery and missiles.
Iraq’s Federal Police are primarily staffed by Shia jihadists from the Badr Organisation, which is a group that was founded in Iran during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. Badr controls the interior ministry and has placed militants in not only the ranks of the police, but also the military and the PMF, making it one of the most pervasive and powerful jihadist organisations in Iraq.
Jawdat’s admissions are not the first of their kind, and there has been a steady stream of evidence indicating that abuses have been perpetrated by the government and its allies who are supposed to be spearheading efforts to liberate civilians from Daesh’s extremist excesses.
Days after the operation began, Amnesty International warned of risk of mass human rights violations due to the involvement of Iran-backed Shia jihadists, MEMO broke the harrowing story last year of children being beaten with hammers by troops loyal to Baghdad, as others were bundled into the back of a pickup truck, threatened with guns and insulted with sectarian slurs.
These shocking images were almost immediately followed in October by other suspected Shia militants beating a child as they interrogated him because they did not like his answers. A month later, soldiers who appeared to be wearing insignia badges for the Iraqi Special Forces, filmed themselves crushing a Sunni child under a tank.
While a number of these abuses have also been reported by international human rights organisations including Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, there have been no formal investigations launched by the Iraqi government. Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi instead accused Amnesty of publishing “false information” that was endangering lives.