Survivors: Iraqi Troops Stood By as Shi’ite Militias Killed 72 Sunnis

Eye-Witnesses Detail Summary Executions by Militias

Eye-witnesses who survived the massacre in the Diyala Province village of Barwanah are describing a situation starkly different from official Interior Ministry claims that what happened was murky, and being orchestrated by ISIS for propaganda effect.

The survivors say that Shi’ite militias were not only carrying out massacres against Sunni locals, but that Iraqi troops were on hand standing by and watching the militias.

Five different witnesses told the exact same story of militias having summarily executed scores of Sunnis shortly after the military had retaken the village from ISIS.

That’s been a recurring story on the Sunni front-lines in Iraq, as Shi’ite militias are being relied on to hold recaptured territory, and taking liberties with the local population in revenge killings.

The Iraqi government is no longer denying the killings outright, but rather now they are saying they’ll investigate the matter. Even if they conclude the militias did conduct a massacre, it doesn’t seem like they’re liable to do much about it, as since Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s call to arms, the militias have operated essentially above the law.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of