Iran-backed Shiite militias killed and tortured hundreds in Falluja

Iran-backed Shiite militias killed and tortured hundreds in Falluja
Iraqi families gather outside an Iraqi military camp near Fallujah on June 3

More than 300 Sunni civilians from the Iraqi city of Falluja have been executed by Shiite militias, according to local activist sources, and hundreds of others were tortured.

Oubaida al-Dulaimi, a media activist from Saqlawiya – a suburb north of Falluja – said that the paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) had been killing civilians fleeing from the besieged city of Falluja, which is currently controlled by ISIS.

“Dead bodies of at least 300 civilians were found in the Al-Nourain school yard in the village,” he said. “All the victims were from the al-Saqlawiya tribe.”

Raafat al-Zarari, head of the Ninevah Media Centre, also told ARA News that “most of them were arrested by the pro-government Shiite militiamen for being Sunni Muslims, and shot dead under the pretext that they were pro-ISIS.”

Numerous accounts have also been released of PMUs torturing civilians fleeing from Falluja.

Sheikh Raja al-Issawi, an Anbar provincial council member, told several news outlets that “605” civilians had been recently detained by Shiite militias involved in the fight to recapture Falluja and taken to the al-Mazraa army base near the town of Saqlawiya, which lies roughly five miles northwest of the city.

Sheikh Raja al-Issawi added that four people died and others were in critical condition after Shiite militia fighters detained Sunni civilians in Saqlawiya

A video alleging to feature released detainees showed a number of men receiving treatment for injuries to their heads and upper bodies.

“Dozens more who had been separated from their families as they fled the area” were also captured, reports theTelegraph.

The Telegraph obtained photographs purporting “to show at least seven different people recovering from their detentions,” reports the U.K. news outlet. “All are bandaged and bloodied, with several bodies covered in deep welts and bruises. In at least one case, the surface of a man’s flesh appeared to have been removed.”

 “Amnesty International says even civilians detained through the formal screening process are often held indefinitely without charge,” notes the Telegraph. “Tens of thousands of civilians are estimated to still be in the custody of Iraqi security forces following the string of recent anti-ISIS territorial victories

The torture revelations are likely to prove an embarrassment for the Iraqi government and their US allies, who have been attempting to portray the fight against ISIS as a national cross-sectarian struggle.