First Published: 2017-08-17

Iraq acknowledges abuses in Mosul campaign
Iraqi Prime Minister's office acknowledges 'abuses' by members of Interior Ministry's elite Emergency Response Division during offensive to oust ISIS from Mosul.
Middle East Online

The ERD is one of several government security forces backed by US-led coalition in campaign against jihadists.

BAGHDAD - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said on Thursday a unit of the security forces committed "abuses" against civilians during the offensive to oust Islamic State (IS) insurgents from the city of Mosul.

His government began an investigation in May into a report by German newsmagazine Der Spiegel that included images of apparent torture taken by a freelance photographer embedded with the Interior Ministry's elite Emergency Response Division (ERD).

"The committee has concluded ... that clear abuses and violations were committed by members of the ERD," a statement from Abadi's office said. It added that the perpetrators would be prosecuted.

Spiegel's photos showed detainees accused of affiliation with Islamic State hanging from a ceiling with their arms bent behind them, and the journalist wrote of prisoners being tortured to death, raped and stabbed with knives.

The ERD was one of several government security forces backed by a US-led coalition that drove IS out of Mosul, the northern city the jihadists seized in 2014 and proclaimed their "capital", in a nine-month campaign that ended in July.

The ERD initially denied the Spiegel report and accused the German weekly of publishing "fabricated and unreal images".

The photographer said he had initially intended to document the heroism of Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State but that a darker side of the war had gradually been revealed to him.

The soldiers with whom he was embedded allowed him to witness and photograph the alleged torture scenes, he said. He has now fled Iraq with his family, fearing for his safety Islamic State's self-proclaimed "caliphate" effectively collapsed with the fall of Mosul but parts of Iraq and Syria remain however under its control, especially in border areas.

 

UN Security Council lenient to Turkey’s Syria offensive

Washington probes Hezbollah ‘narcoterrorism’

Tillerson to present US strategy on Syria to European, Arab allies

Russia pension funds may invest in Aramco IPO

Iranian woman skydiver looks to break down stereotypes

Turkish army clashes with Kurdish militia amid US alarm

Turkey arrests dozens accused of ‘terror propaganda’

Three French female jihadists face possible death penalty in Iraq

Women journalists protest separation during Pence visit to Jerusalem

Egypt military accuses presidential hopeful of committing crimes

Israeli minister calls to ban author praising Palestinian teen

Qatar supports Turkey’s offensive against Kurds

World powers meet on Syria chemical attacks

Morocco's king appoints five new ministers

Pence pledges US embassy move by end of 2019 on Jerusalem trip

Russia calls for diplomatic solution to Yemen conflict

Russia invites Kurds to join Syria peace process

Turkey shells Kurdish targets in northern Syria

Closer look at pro-Ankara rebels amassing around Afrin

Pence set for Palestinian snub

Abbas to ask EU to recognise Palestinian state

Saudi-led coalition to give $1.5 bln in Yemen aid

Mattis: Turkey gave US advance warning on Syria operation

Yemen releases budget for first time in three years

Saudi calls for cooperation between OPEC, non-OPEC countries

France presses Turkey to end offensive against Kurds

The changing faces of al-Qaeda in Syria

Kurdish militia fire rockets at Turkish town

Moroccans wary depreciation of dirham could raise cost of living, despite benefits

Deserted streets, terrified civilians after Turkey attacks Afrin

Iraqi, Kurdish leaders hold talks on bitter regional dispute

Russia-led Syria peace congress to be held January 30

Turkey launches new strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria

Egypt's Sisi says will stand for re-election

Pence heads to Mideast despite Muslim, Christian anger

Assad regime says Syria a 'tourist' destination

Journalists arrested while reporting Sudan protests

Aid for millions of Palestinians hostage to politics

Lebanon thwarts holiday attacks using IS informant

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital

Turkish military fires on Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin

More than 32,000 Yemenis displaced in intensified fighting

UN warns of "lost generation" in South Sudan's grinding conflict

Saudi's refined oil exports offset crude curbs

US to overtake Saudi as world’s second crude oil producer