Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Iraqis Dispense What They Call Justice for Alleged Militants

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Iraqis Dispense What They Call Justice for Alleged Militants

Article excerpt

QAYARA, Iraq * At a checkpoint south of Mosul, men who once suffered under the harsh rule of the Islamic State group are now screening displaced civilians to identify any fleeing fighters, and some are dispensing what they call justice.

Dhia Amir said he has arrested more than 100 people some as young as 13 and handed them over to local police.

"Except for the men who I saw kill with my own eyes," Amir said earlier this week. "Those, I don't hand them over to the state. I deal with them myself."

Then he pointed to a sand berm on the side of the road where he said he shot two men. "I killed them right over there," Amir said.

Since the offensive to retake Iraq's second-largest city began Oct. 17, the Shiite-led government has tried to prevent revenge attacks against the mainly Sunni residents of Mosul and surrounding areas. State-sanctioned Shiite militias and Kurdish forces say they won't enter the city, and the government has vowed to investigate any human rights violations and hold people accountable.

But in chaotic areas near the front lines, the military is increasingly stretched thin and relying on local militias and tribal fighters to hold territory won back from the militants.

People who suffered from the group's vicious attacks and its bloody rule marked by public beheadings, sexual enslavement and the use of child soldiers say they are justly punishing known militants.

Amir, who mans a checkpoint with soldiers, the militarized Federal Police and local militiamen, all in mismatched uniforms, said he is able to tell civilians from militants through a network of contacts and a government database.

"I have my sources," he said. "I'm from this area. I know a lot of people here."

He said he knew the two men he killed were Islamic State militants because he saw them commit crimes. The Associated Press could not immediately confirm his account of the killings. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.