Militias, volunteer fighters, and Iraqi security forces engaged in deliberate destruction of civilian property after these forces, following US and Iraqi air strikes, forced the retreat of Islamic State fighters (also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL) from the town of Amerli and surrounding areas in early September 2014, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
The Iraqi government should rein in the militias and countries participating in the fight against ISIS, including the United States and Iran, should ensure military operations and other related support in the fight against ISIS are not paving the way for such abuses.
The 31-page report, “After Liberation Came Destruction: Iraqi Militias and the Aftermath of Amerli,” documents, through field visits, analysis of satellite imagery, interviews with victims and witnesses, and review of photo and video evidence, that militias looted property of Sunni civilians who had fled fighting, burned their homes and businesses, and destroyed at least two entire villages.
The actions violated the laws of war. Human Rights Watch also documented the abduction of 11 men during the operation, in September and October.
(Source: Human Rights Watch)