While mainstream news outlets acted like the U.S and their puppet regime forces were heroic for “winning” the recent battle in Mosul, Acclaimed Humans rights organization Amnesty International is reporting that the U.S led coalition and their trained Iraqi forces have again violated international law and committed war crimes during this recent assault in the densely populated region. Thousands of civilians were killed during this nine-month battle, nearly a million were forced to flee and become refugees.
U.S Military Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, who is in charge of the military campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq refutes claims that the U.S-led coalition and the U.S-backed Iraqi forces violated international law and on top of that made the statement that battle against ISIS is the “most precise campaign in the history of warfare”.
Amnesty International’s Iraq Expert and main researcher, (who spent weeks talking to families on the ground in Iraq after the battle at Mosul) refuted the claims of the Lietenant General and said:
“To his claims that this was the most precise campaign in the history of warfare, I would respond just with my experience with the civilians’ experience of what they went through, and basically would call on the Iraqi and coalition air forces to use their great technological advantages to better affect—to better protect civilians in places such as west Mosul, because what we found was quite the contrary. We found that Iraqi forces, in particular, were consistently using IRAMs, improvised rocket-assisted munitions. These are basically flying IEDs. They have a massive warhead, and they cannot be precisely targeted. So these were being flung into neighborhoods where people were trapped, where they had no way out, and where often people were packed in one house between groups of—groups between 15 and a hundred civilians. So, when this type of imprecise—these weapons that cannot be targeted are launched into areas like this, the cost is going to be high. And we would call on the U.S. and Iraq coalition, the coalition and Iraqi forces, to do better in the future, to prioritize civilian protection and to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law, which requires them not to use the type of weapons they did, these imprecise explosive weapons, in these very densely populated areas.”
“What we found is that both ISIS and the Iraqi and coalition forces inflicted massive harm on civilians during the battle for west Mosul. On the one hand, ISIS systematically moved thousands of civilians directly into areas of active fighting, and then they trapped them there. On the other hand, Iraqi and coalition forces then subjected these very same areas to relentless attacks. These attacks used explosive and imprecise weapons that killed and injured thousands of civilians and left the city flattened.”
And it seemed as if, to me, every third family we talked to had lost a family member in one of these Iraqi and coalition air force airstrikes or ground attacks. And it was actually so common for people to be full of shrapnel—I met whole families who were full of shrapnel—that they wouldn’t even seek medical attention”
How long can the U.S continue supporting brutal military regimes around the world and use our tax dollars and citizenry to fighting threats that each country faces and assume it will benefit our security to take on new enemies. The proper solution to stopping terrorism is to, in the words of Noam Chomsky “Stop contributing to it.” Until more realists and less idealists take over our Military establishment, it seems our policy of perpetual war will continue.