Iraqi government is investigating a video that appears to show men in army uniforms throwing a pleading ISIS fighter off a cliff before shooting him. In video, panicking man is taunted and beaten by several rifle-wielding troops before being slowly forced up to a precipice and hurled onto the motionless body of another man below. Execution method is reminiscent of 1 employed by ISIS, which is notorious for killing people it decides are guilty of homosexuality by throwing them from high buildings. An interior ministry spokesman said that if the video, purportedly filmed in recently-liberated Mosul, was genuine then the soldiers involved will be brought to justice.
There have been reports by human rights groups that some Iraqi government troops are guilty of torture and execution in war against ISIS. One man, Falah Aziz, claimed to have beheaded about 50 ISIS fighters and stressed he was completely ‘at ease’ doing so. Video of the man being thrown from cliff, which was posted to the Mosul Eye blog yesterday, comes just days after a United States backed coalition of Iraqi forces announced it had freed Mosul, the city in which ISIS proclaimed its caliphate in 2014, but small-scale fighting is still going on inside the Old City, with an unknown number of ISIS troops, perhaps as many as hundreds, hiding out. Belkis Wille, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, said ‘In the final weeks of the battle for west Mosul, the pervasive attitude that I have observed among armed forces has been of momentum, the desire to get the battle wrapped up as quickly as possible, and a collapse of adherences to the laws of war. These reports have been met with congratulations from Baghdad on the victory, only further fostering the feeling of impunity among armed forces in Mosul.’