Abadi: Government Hasn't Received Complaints Of Hashid al-Shaabi Violations

Abadi: Government Hasn't Received Complaints Of Hashid al-Shaabi Violations

 Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the government has not received any complaints that Hashid al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), a coalition of Shia militiamen, has carried out violations during the grinding battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State (ISIS).

Abadi’s office released a statement following a meeting with Iraqi ambassadors and diplomats abroad on Saturday (December 17), stating that cooperation between Iraqi forces taking part in the battle is at a good level.

“The Mosul operation has been a clean war and we have not received any complaint regarding Hashid al-Shaabi’s violations,” the statement read, citing Iraq’s premier.

The statement came after Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the Hashad al-Jabour militia – members of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) – executed more than four men on November 29, 2016.

The rights monitoring group said the executions were carried out in the village of Shayalat al-Imam with the presence of Iraqi forces and civilians witnessing at least one execution.

The Hashad al-Jabour militia was responsible for the execution of the men “without any judicial proceeding,” according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), which accused the militia of committing a war crime.

Commenting on the incident, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, Lama Fakih stated that “the Iraqi government should make clear that government-backed militias don’t have a green light to abuse or execute captives regardless of what they think they’re guilty of.”

Iraqi forces, are engaged in a U.S.-backed campaign to crush ISIS in its last urban bastion in the country. Currently, they have retaken about a quarter of Mosul, but their advance has been slow and punishing.

The campaign to capture Mosul started on October 17, with air and ground support from a U.S.-led coalition.

The offensive to take Mosul, the largest city under ISIS control in either Iraq or Syria, is turning into the biggest battle in Iraq's turbulent history since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.