Iraq rights panel to sue US coalition over Mosul deaths

 11 Sep 2017 - 10:41

Iraq rights panel to sue US coalition over Mosul deaths

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BAGHDAD: Iraq’s official human rights commission (affiliated with Iraq’s parliament) plans to sue a U.S.-led military coalition which it blames for the death of over 2,000 civilians in the city of Mosul, a commission member said Sunday.

“Numerous buildings in western Mosul, residential and commercial, have been destroyed [by coalition airstrikes], while nearly 2,000 bodies remain buried under the rubble,” commission member Wahda al-Jumaili said in a statement.

“We are therefore calling on Iraqi prosecution authorities to file an official lawsuit against coalition commanders for these violations of humanitarian law and a failure to discriminate between civilians and combatants,” she added.

Al-Jumaili went on to urge Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to launch an immediate investigation “to determine who exactly is responsible for this loss of innocent life”.

Hussam Eddin al-Abbar, a member of the provincial council of Nineveh (of which Mosul serves as regional capital), told Anadolu Agency that western Mosul’s Old City in particular had suffered “widespread destruction” as a result of fierce coalition airstrikes.

In July, the Iraqi army retook Mosul from IS -- with the coalition’s support -- following a nine-month campaign that featured frequent bombardments of residential parts of the city.

Until now, it remains unclear exactly how many civilians were killed in the fighting.