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Iraq official admits to war crimes in Mosul

Image of the Iraqi Army in Mosul as the operation to retake Mosul from Daesh terrorists continues on 12 March 2017 [Hemn Baban /Anadolu]
Image of the Iraqi Army in Mosul as the operation to retake Mosul from Daesh terrorists continues on 12 March 2017 [Hemn Baban /Anadolu]

An Iraqi official has appeared to admit to and confirm his country’s armed forces committing war crimes in Mosul during a television broadcast, saying that such actions were acceptable due to the presence of Daesh militants.

Saad Al-Muttalibi, a member of the official Baghdad Security Council that deals with issues of counterterrorism and securing the capital from armed threats of all kinds, said that Iraqi forces kill Daesh prisoners.

Speaking on TRT World’s flagship programme “The Newsmakers” about the recent report by German news magazine Der Spiegel that exposed Iraqi forces committing grave human rights abuses against Sunni Arab civilians in Mosul, Al-Muttalibi said:

Yes, we kill ISIS. If we capture an ISIS [sic], we do kill them.

In response, host Imran Garda attempted to get Al-Muttalibi to see that he had no way of confirming that captured prisoners were indeed Daesh militants.

“Right, but these people are suspects, that’s the point. They’re suspects and they’re being tortured, you don’t know if they’re ISIS or not,” Garda said, using another acronym for the Daesh extremist group.

Read: 200,000 could flee Mosul as fighting intensifies

Al-Muttalibi claimed that the Iraqi government had a database of every Daesh militant, but failed to explain how Baghdad had failed to act on this intelligence sooner, and also failed to explain how other news sources had confirmed Der Spiegel’s reporting.

Abuses rife in Mosul

Earlier in the segment, the Iraqi official, who has considerable connections to the United Kingdom, including assets and family ties, accused Der Spiegel of concocting Daesh propaganda in support of the extremist group.

Faced with the fact that other media outlets had reported similar abuses, Al-Muttalibi began claiming that the harrowing photographs and footage of the abuse of Sunnis was from Syria, and not Iraq.

Read: Daesh executes 17 families in Mosul

However, he was unable to provide evidence for his claims when challenged or even explanations as to why no one had seen any evidence from alleged experts had confirmed that the footage was not from Iraq.

When confronted by another panellist regarding his apparent admission that Iraqi government troops commit war crimes and violations of the Geneva Conventions with Baghdad’s knowledge, Al-Muttalibi simply laughed.

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