Both Sides in Mosul Battle Accused of War Crimes

Human Rights Watch Urges Iraqi Govt to Control Its Forces

The Iraqi invasion of Mosul continues to slowly trudge alone, with officials openly saying they believe the fight is going to take months. In the mean time, there is growing disquiet about the mounting evidence of war crimes committed by both sides.

ISIS has reportedly continued its executions of civilians it suspects are disloyal to them, with another 21 reported killed in the past 24 hours, the latest in a series of reported executions. In previous cases, ISIS was publicly displaying the bodies, but now are said to be dumping them into a mass grave to deny them religious burial.

At the same time, Human Rights Watch issued a statement reporting that Iraqi troops had summarily executed at least one surrendered ISIS fighter, and had repeatedly mutilated the bodies of enemies they’ve killed. The statement cautioned the Iraqi government that it risks losing the “moral upper hand” in the ISIS fight by not getting control over its forces.

This is just the latest in a series of problems for the Iraqi government, with other reports of mass detentions of civilians trying to flee from Mosul following the disturbing trend that saw many civilians “disappeared” in Fallujah into pro-government militia torture chambers.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.