Kirkuk and Erbil – Leader of the Iraqi Arab Coalition Shiekh Fahran al-Sadid said that it is not acceptable for a group to participate in the liberation of Mosul while it threatens its people and vows vengeance for their own sectarian agenda.
He added that many parties had asked the Prime Minister not to include the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in the Mosul operations.
Sheikh Sadid confirmed that PMF units are stationed on the borders of Mosul and they tend to randomly bomb and launch missiles at the residential areas inside the city, which led to several causalities.
The sheikh also confirmed that civilians inside Mosul are contacting them daily and reporting the situation from inside, while expressing their fears that ISIS might resort to killing them before fleeing the city.
According to Sadid, the citizens in Mosul are also afraid that the liberating forces will enter the city, especially PMF who are dressed as security forces, and repeat the same scenario as that of Fallujah and Tikrit.
Political advisor of Uniters for Reform Coalition Jaafar Abdul Karim Habib said that the people of Nineveh are sensitive towards PMF because of what happened in Anbar, Saladin, and Moqdadiyyah.
The advisor hoped that PMF would understand their position is not sectarian but rather comes from fear of repetition of the situation.
Political and strategic analyst Ali al-Rabei said that certain infiltrates entered PMF units and thus created distrust between citizens of Mosul and PMF.
The analyst, who is also from Mosul, said that prior to the liberation operation of Mosul, it had been agreed that PMF will remain at the outskirts of the city and will not enter it.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International warned “Iraqi authorities must take concrete steps to ensure there is no repeat of the gross violations witnessed in Falluja and other parts of Iraq during confrontations between government forces and the Islamic State armed group.”
“Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi’s instructions to exercise ‘caution and vigilance’ to ensure protection of civilians must be more than token words.
The Iraqi authorities must exercise effective command and control over militias, and they must ensure that personnel implicated in past violations do not take part in the Mosul operations.
All parties to the conflict must take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties during their attack on Mosul,” ,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.