Underscoring the nebulous nature of Iraq’s latest war, as well as the growing sectarian divide it is creating, locals in Tikrit are complaining that a recent military air strike against their town killed a number of innocent civilians.
The locals of the overwhelmingly Sunni Arab town say that the strike killed combatants, but also seven civilians, and wounded at least 12 other civilian bystanders.
Iraq’s military, itself overwhelmingly Shi’ite, denies the claim, and insists everyone killed was a “Sunni extremist,” which doesn’t necessarily preclude non-ISIS victims, but does reflect how the Maliki government sees its Sunni minority.
In addition to being a war crime, killing civilians is extremely counterproductive for the Maliki government, which is trying to present itself as a “unifier” of Iraq’s various ethnic and religious minorities, but which in practice seems to view them all as enemies.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- US Airstrikes Kill at Least 100 Syrian Civilians in Raqqa in 48 Hours - August 22nd, 2017
- Palestinian Authority Threatens to Cut All Gaza Funds - August 21st, 2017
- Report: ISIS Attacks Grew in 2016, Despite Shrinking Territory - August 21st, 2017
- Trump Promises to 'Deal With Pakistan' on Afghan War - August 21st, 2017
- Trump Declares Open-Ended War in Afghanistan - August 21st, 2017