Vice News video shows questionable treatment of Sunnis by Iraqi forces

Published June 8th, 2016 - 08:40 GMT
Major Salam of Iraq's Golden Division asks Sunni villagers if a certain youth is a Daesh member or not. (credit: VICE)
Major Salam of Iraq's Golden Division asks Sunni villagers if a certain youth is a Daesh member or not. (credit: VICE)

A video-report from Vice News published Tuesday shows questionable treatment of Sunni Iraqis by government forces. 

Vice News reporter Ayman Oghanna embedded with Iraq’s Golden Division Special Forces, who Oghanna once called “the most capable, disciplined military organization in the history of the modern Iraqi state.” 

Oghanna rode along in Iraqi tanks as the Golden Division sought to retake the strategic Anbar Province village of Hit from Daesh control

The video shows Iranian- and US-supported Iraqi forces detaining, humiliating, blindfolding and beating suspected Daesh collaborators, and shooting seemingly indiscriminate tank fire into Sunni villages. 

All of this was done in front of Oghanna—one can only imagine what Iraq’s army does when journalists aren’t present. 

At one point, an Iraqi officer with the Golden Division, named Major Salam, sits with suspected Daesh collaborators in a small Iraqi village in Anbar province. “You are disavowed by Islam,” Major Salam says. “You called the Shiite an apostate. You took the Yazidi girls as slaves.” 

Salam then orders the suspected collaborators arrested and taken to a local mosque to be detained. “I’ll teach you how to smile. I’ll break your teeth,” he says. 

Salam also uses kangaroo courts to decide whether certain villagers are Daesh collaborators, asking the villagers themselves to publicly rat out their neighbors in an emotional scene at the 06:00 minute mark. 

The men who are said to be affiliated with Daesh are blindfolded, loaded into pickup trucks and taken to Baghdad for “processing.” Some of them declare their innocence as they are taken away.   

Watch the video below: 

 

-Hunter Stuart


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