Most of the concern about sectarian bloodletting in Iraq’s invasion of the Sunni city of Mosul has centered on the Shi’ite militias, who have engaged in most of these attacks in previous months, including torturing and killing large numbers of civilians in Fallujah and looting Sunni towns around the country.
But the Iraqi military itself is becoming a concern for a lot of the civilians in Mosul, who note that soldiers who have gained a foothold in eastern Mosul have begun spray-painting Shi’ite slogans as graffiti on buildings around the area.
The Shi’ite-dominated Iraqi government has not been on the best of terms with Sunni Arabs anywhere in the country, with perceived discrimination providing a big opening for ISIS to set itself up in the area in the first place, and fear that the military is playing a more direct role in that sectarian violence only adds to that concern.
Iraqi officials tried to dismiss the concerns of the locals, insisting that the traditional Shi’ite battle cries are just a “expression of victory for all Iraqis,” and that everybody knows that the military are liberators.
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