Iraq will probe abuses in Fallujah: spokesman

The Hashed al-Shaabi taking part in the Fallujahoperation is an umbrella organisation that includes Sunni tribal fighters but is dominated…

Iraq will probe abuses in Fallujah: spokesman
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on Tuesday the launching of a military operation to retake Shirqat, an Islamic State bastion 100 km south of the jihadists' Mosul stronghold. The northern town on the banks of the Tigris River, which Iraqi troops and allied Shi'ite Muslim militias have surrounded, is thought to contain tens of thousands of civilians. (Reuters)

The Iraqi government will investigate allegations of abuses by the security forces in the course of the operation to retake the jihadist-held city of Fallujah, a spokesman said today.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered the creation of a human rights committee to examine “any violation to the instructions on the protection of civilians”, Saad al-Hadithi said in a televised briefing.

He said Abadi had issued “strict orders” for prosecutions to take place in the event of any abuses.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most revered Shiite cleric in Iraq, has issued guidelines intended as a form of
code of conduct for forces fighting the Islamic State group and aimed at curbing abuses.

Officials including Parliament Speaker Salim al-Juburi have expressed concern over reports of abuses committed by the forces involved in the operation to recapture Fallujah.

Juburi spoke on Thursday of “information indicating that some violations were carried out by some members of the
federal police and some volunteers against civilians”.

The statement did not provide details on the alleged abuses, but urged Abadi to “look into these acts and deal with
them in a strict and expeditious way”.

Fallujah is a Sunni city that lies only 50 kilometres (30miles) west of Baghdad and is one of IS’s most emblematic

The Hashed al-Shaabi taking part in the Fallujah operation is an umbrella organisation that includes Sunni
tribal fighters but is dominated by powerful Tehran-backed Shiite militias.

It is nominally under Abadi’s authority but some of its most powerful groups answer directly to Iran.

Those groups have been repeatedly accused of fuelling sectarianism and their involvement in the Fallujah battle was
seen as potentially explosive.


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First published on: 06-06-2016 at 12:35 IST