Tribal Leaders: Shi’ite Militias Kill 70 Civilians After Iraq Retakes Diyala

Interior Ministry Says Allegations Are ISIS Lies

Tribal leaders and Sunni politicians in the Diyala Province are complaining, in the wake of reports that the Iraqi government has ousted ISIS from the area, Shi’ite militias are carrying out massacres against Sunni tribesmen.

The officials say 70 Sunni civilians were killed in attacks by the Shi’ite militias as part of the three day “anti-ISIS offensive.” Complaints of such massacres have been common where Shi’ite militias have taken Sunni towns.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry, however, accused the tribal leaders of lying, saying the claims are part of an ISIS plot to discredit the Shi’ite militias. They also claimed reports of large numbers of homes being leveled by troops were actually the result of ISIS planting bombs designed to discredit them.

Since a call to arms by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the Shi’ite militias have been virtually above the law in Iraq, carrying out attacks on Sunni civilians they accuse of being “ISIS sympathizers” at will, and likely turning many of the tribes into ISIS sympathizers.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.