A new report from Amnesty International details war crimes committed by the Iraqi government-backed Shi’ite militias in the central Sunni towns that they’ve retaken from ISIS.
The report warned that over 170 young Sunnis were kidnapped by militias in the area around Samarra since June, with dozens of them executed, and many of the rest held for ransom. Others have yet to be accounted for.
The attacks are seen as revenge against the Sunnis because some backed the ISIS takeover of their territory, which is in turn likely to lead to even more hoping ISIS returns just to get the militias off their back.
Amnesty urged Iraqi Premier Hayder Abadi to end the phenomenon of “militia rule” of towns, warning that in sanctioning the militias, they are adding to sectarian tension in the nation.
So far, however, the Iraqi military has proven ineffective in fighting ISIS, and has turned to the Shi’ite militias, formed in a religious call to arms, to resist further ISIS advances. It seems unlikely, given that, that they’ll be able to tamp down militia excesses.