Iraqi forces pushed deeper into the city of Mosul Saturday, the 27th day of the offensive to retake the city from ISIS terrorists who captured Mosul more than two years ago. The Iraqi troops faced tough resistance from scattered pockets of ISIS fighters taking refuge among the city’s remaining civilian population of an estimated one million people.
But as the bloody offensive continued, reports of human rights violations by Iraqi troops surfaced — and were denied by Iraqi military authorities. An Amnesty International report on Thursday warned that Iraqi fighters, possibly federal police, were engaged in torture and unlawful killings.
Whether the Amnesty report is accurate or not, the streets of Mosul are clearly now home to nearly ceaseless violence and brutality — as the following video leaked out of Mosul on Friday indicates. The footage shows what appear to be members of non-uniformed Iraqi militia displaying their “trophies,” the bodies of slain ISIS terrorists — even dragging some of the bodies of their enemies through the Mosul streets, both behind trucks and by hand.
Be warned — the content of this video is explicit and disturbing. But it provides a first-hand and uncensored look at the realities of the battle to reclaim Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, from the ISIS occupiers who seized the city and used it as their “capital” in Iraq since June of 2014.
“Men in Federal Police uniform have carried out multiple unlawful killings, apprehending and then deliberately killing in cold blood residents in villages south of Mosul. In some cases the residents were tortured before they were shot dead execution-style,” Amnesty International Deputy Director Lynn Maalouf said on Thursday. “Deliberately killing captives and other defenseless individuals is prohibited by international humanitarian law and is a war crime.”
But Iraqi authorities waved off the Amnesty International report.
“The Iraqi federal police rejects a report by Amnesty International on our forces having committed crimes against a number of civilians,” the police organization said in a statement. “The federal police command stresses its full commitment to the instructions of the commander in chief and the joint command on values and principles of humanity in protecting civilians and their properties and affording them all assistance.”
At the same time, however, a United Nations report accused ISIS fighters inside of Mosul of executing “dozens” of civilians inside of Mosul, allegedly on charges of “treason.”
“On Tuesday, ISIL (IS) reportedly shot and killed 40 civilians in Mosul city after accusing them of ‘treason and collaboration,’” a U.N. spokesperson in Geneva said on Thursday.
The following video posted by documentary filmmaker Günther Steinmeier, who is embedded with Kurdish Peshmerga troops, shows the Kurdish soldiers in combat inside of Mosul — and suffering casualties from an ISIS suicide bomber attack.
According to a Reuters report, ISIS militants had not only executed civilians for alleged collaborations with the Iraqi and Kurdish attacking force, but publicly crucified them as well as a message of terror to other remaining Mosul residents.
After a pause of about two whole days, the Iraqi forces launched a new push into Mosul on Friday, where they found the fighting especially brutal.
“We have encountered heavy resistance from the enemy,” Sabah al-Numani, of the elite Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service said. “We are facing the most difficult form of urban warfare, fighting with the presence of civilians, but our forces are trained for this sort of combat.”