HRW: Daesh killed 300 former policemen

Iraqi security forces search Shiite pilgrims marching toward Karbala for the Arbaeen ritual in Baghdad, Iraq, on Tuesday. (AP)
Updated 17 November 2016
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HRW: Daesh killed 300 former policemen

BAGHDAD: Daesh militants probably killed more than 300 Iraqi former police three weeks ago and buried them in a mass grave near the town of Hammam Al-Alil south of Mosul, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.
A Reuters reporter visited the site of the mass grave, where residents said the ultra-hard-line militants buried victims who had been shot or beheaded. The residents said they believed up to 200 people were killed in the weeks before Daesh withdrew from the town.
Human Rights Watch said some of the former policemen were separated from a group of about 2,000 people from nearby villages and towns who were forced to march alongside the militants last month as they retreated north to Mosul and the town of Tal Afar.
It quoted a laborer who said he saw Daesh fighters drive four large trucks carrying 100 to 125 men, some of whom he recognized as former policemen, past an agricultural college close to the site which was to become the mass grave.
Minutes later, he heard automatic gunfire and cries of distress, he said. The next night, on Oct. 29, a similar scene was repeated, with between 130 to 145 men, he told HRW.
Another witness, a resident of Hammam Al-Alil, said he heard automatic gunfire in the area for approximately seven minutes, three nights in a row.
“This is another piece of evidence of the horrific mass murder by Daesh of former law enforcement officers in and around Mosul,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Daesh should be held accountable for these crimes against humanity.”


Extremists kill 9 Syria regime fighters near Idlib: monitor

Updated 16 November 2018
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Extremists kill 9 Syria regime fighters near Idlib: monitor

  • Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests
  • Extremist groups attacked government forces in the northwest of Hama province near a planned buffer zone

BEIRUT: Extremists on Friday killed nine Syrian regime fighters near a planned buffer zone around the country’s last major rebel bastion, a monitor said.
A September deal between government ally Russia and opposition backer Turkey aimed to set up a de-militarised zone around the northwestern region of Idlib to protect it from a regime assault.
But its implementation has been stalled since extremists who hold around 70 percent of the planned buffer area failed to withdraw by mid-October, and sporadic clashes have rocked the area since.
Early Friday, extremist groups attacked government forces in the northwest of Hama province near the planned buffer zone, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“Nine regime fighters and five assailants were killed” in the attack, causing government forces to respond with artillery fire, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The attackers included the Al-Qaeda-linked Hurras Al-Deen group, which has publicly rejected the Russian-Turkish deal, he said.
The lion’s share of Idlib is held by Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, an alliance led by Al-Qaeda’s former Syrian affiliate.
Under the September 17 deal, all fighters in the zone were supposed to withdraw their heavy weapons and militants including HTS and Hurras Al-Deen were supposed to leave.
On Thursday, Russian spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized “sporadic clashes,” as well as “provocations” by HTS in northwestern Syria.
Late last month, Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem expressed dissatisfaction with the implementation of the Idlib deal, and criticized Turkey for shortcomings.
He said heavy weapons had not been withdrawn and accused Turkey of not wanting to “respect its obligations.”
Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.