Iraqi forces committed human rights violations during the battle to retake the city of Mosul from the Daesh terrorist group, the country's prime minister acknowledged, but insisted that these were "individual acts" for which the perpetrators would be punished.
The remarks by Haider al-Abadi, at a late night press conference on Tuesday, came after shocking videos emerged on social media following the victory in Mosul and showing troops throwing captured Daesh suspects off a high wall, then shooting their bodies below. The most recent evidence are the videos that emerged even after al-Abadi last week declared "total victory" in Mosul. Another video showed a soldier gunning down an unarmed man kneeling in front of a car. Al-Abadi speculated that soldiers who committed such violations were either "ignorant" of the consequences or had struck a deal with Daesh "to defame us and the security forces.""Any violation against the law or any violation against a person's dignity is not acceptable and we will chase them [perpetrators] down," he added. "These are individual acts and not widespread and we will not tolerate such acts."
Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul after the city was held for around three years by Daesh. Daesh militants were notorious for atrocities, both against civilians and Iraqi security forces, often hunting down anyone connected with the police or military after they overran territory. The assault to retake Mosul also involved grinding urban warfare in which the security forces suffered heavy casualties.