Iraq launches investigation into video of Iraqi forces committing executions

Left: Alleged Iraqi forces dragging a man before shooting him to death. (Screenshot from video below) Right: Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

A recently released video, circulating on social media sites, that purportedly shows ISIS fighters being beaten and executed with fully automatic weapons in eastern Mosul has led to an investigation.

Colonel John Dorrian, the spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), told Popular Military that Iraq’s Prime Minister, Haider al-abadi, is aware of the video and ordered an investigation.

“Abadi has directed an investigation into this video and stressed that the Iraqi chain of command must protect human rights,” said Dorrian.

On Saturday, the United National Assistance Mission for Iraq requested that the Iraqi government launch an investigation into the video.

“[The video] shows the brutal mistreatment and murder of at least three captured ISIL members in a retaken area between Intisar band Karma neighbourhoods of east Mosul at the hands of what appears to be Iraqi Security Forces Personnel,” the UN said in a statement.

The video is not the first piece of evidence to suggest Iraqi forces have committed war crimes and/or sectarian violence since the operation to retake Mosul began in October, but it is the first time the Combined Joint Task Force has acknowledged the violence.

“We agree that the actions depicted in the videos should be investigated, and those responsible for unacceptable actions should be held to account,” Dorrian told Popular Military.  “We also agree with the position that human rights must be protected throughout the campaign to defeat Da’esh (ISIS).”

In November, Popular Military made an inquiry to the Combined Joint Task Force about a video of Iraqi forces allegedly running over a child, accused of being ISIS, with a tank.  The OIR spokesman responded to the inquiry, denying the existence of human rights violations by saying if these were current or verified by credible sources, he’d being seeing evidence of such because the coalition has embedded media working side-by-side with Iraqi fighters.

In December, a video purporting to show Iraqi Army soldiers dousing the body of an accused ISIS fighter with gasoline and lighting him on fire in Mosul surfaced, but did not lead to an investigation.

On Tuesday, the United Nations reported, “One hundred days into the Iraqi [Mosul] military operation, [Iraqi] people continue to be exposed to violence, human rights violations, restricted access to safety and freedom of movement, abduction and illegal detention, limited access to basic services.”

The UN estimates one million people have been displaced as a result of the Iraqi military’s efforts to liberate Mosul and surrounding areas from the control of ISIS.

With more than three million displaced since June of 2014, Col. Dorrian agrees that allowing Human rights violations to go noticed detracts from the legitimacy the Iraqi force’s mission.

“Human rights abuses, if left unchecked, could undermine confidence in the ISF and threaten the peace and stability that Iraqi and Coalition forces are working so hard to achieve,” said Dorrian.

Warning: video contains graphic content

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