The extremely ugly final weeks of the Iraqi “liberation” of Mosul is leading to an aftermath where untold hundreds of corpses remain buried under the rubble of the Old City. The corpses include some ISIS fighters, of course, but also a massive number of civilians.
That’s reflective of what Iraqi soldiers say were their orders in the final days of the battle, kill anything that moves. Iraqi forces eagerly did so, with one noting that they “killed them all, men, women, and children. We killed everyone.”
There is little chance that the dead will even be counted, with Iraqi forces sending in armored bulldozers to cover over all the rubble, crushing the uncovered bodies along with the former homes they lived in.
One Iraqi major insisted reports that the change came as the result of Iraqi prisons being full was false, saying that Iraq has plenty of prisons, but makes “very few arrests” in Mosul, noting that Iraqi troops summarily execute people for more or less anything.
Civilians caught going down to the Tigris River for water, because they’re dying of thirst, are routinely killed, he noted. The reporters in the city who would normally witness this sort of action are bullied, their cameras’ memory confiscated, and convinced to quietly leave town.
As Iraqi officials were celebrating “victory” in Mosul in recent weeks, attack helicopters were overhead just blocks away, targeting everyone that was still moving in the shrinking ISIS districts. The memory of what happened burned into the minds of the locals, Iraq now has an uphill battle trying to govern Mosul as anything but an occupied city, taken in the most brutal of fashions.