Mosul: 'Isis militants' thrown off cliff and shot after Iraqi forces liberate city

'If there’s any violation of human rights from any force – counterterrorism forces, police, army, they will be held accountable militarily and we will be really severe'

Narjas Zatat
Monday 17 July 2017 17:15 BST
Isis militants thrown to their deaths in graphic video

The Iraqi government has said it investigating a graphic video which appears to show its forces throwing Isis militants being thrown over a cliff and then shot.

The footage which has been shared online, shows uniformed men dragging a bloodied, unarmed man to the edge of a cliff and throwing him over.

After he lands on another body around 30ft below, he is shot numerous times.

The clip was shared on the Mosul Eye Twitter account, which was set up by an independent historian who regularly posts information about fighting in northern Iraqi city.

Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, spokesperson for the Joint Operations Command said they were "keenly observing and following what is being published in social media outlets about the conduct of a number of our soldiers, or those who are wearing uniforms."

He added: "We are following this affair very closely, and all the leadership of Iraqi forces and military are keen to know the details of this matter... If there’s any violation of human rights from any force – counterterrorism forces, police, army, they will be held accountable militarily and we will be really severe.”

He did not confirm the clip's authenticity.

Instead, he said: "Don’t forget that those who would like to reduce the joy and the confidence we have found from this victory, maybe these videos are being fabricated."

But he added that they would "look into this matter very carefully and we will hold anybody who committed that act severely.”

However, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has verified the location of the video using satellite imagery, according to BBC.

Iraq PM Haider al-Abadi hails 'big victory' in Mosul

A recent report by the organisation alleged numerous human rights abuses by Iraqi forces, which it accused of “beating and unlawfully killing men and boys fleeing Mosul.”

Four witnesses told the activist group that they had also executed unarmed men.

Another witness claimed that three Emergency Response Division and Iraqi Force (ISF) members told him they were executing unarmed men thought to be part of Isis, rather than detaining them - a breech of international law.

Two other witnesses recounted an incident in which Iraqi uniformed soldiers picked at least six men and boys out of a crowd of civilians at a checkpoint and assaulted them before driving them away.

One said: “I have heard of countless abuses and executions in this battle. But what’s changed is that in this final phase fighters are no longer hiding what they are doing and are comfortable allowing us to witness the abuses first-hand.”

An article published by a Swedish news outlet dated over three weeks before the victory, and written by a Swedish journalist who was on the frontline, states a Federal Police Officer had said he decapitated at least 50 men with knives.

HRW have documented Iraqi forces detaining thousands of men in inhumane conditions; of torture under the pretext of Isis screening, and in some cases even extrajudicial killings.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally declared victory over Isis in Mosul on Monday after nine months of hard fighting. He said the triumph marks the “collapse” of the self-proclaimed caliphate.

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