US-Trained Iraqi Soldiers Committing War Crimes in Mosul


There have been more than a few stories in the last couple of weeks detailing myriad war crimes by the Iraqi military in Mosul. A new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) takes that a step further by linking a specific Iraqi Army division, the 16th Division, to multiple incidents.

These war crimes read much like the others. Naked Iraqis, handcuffed and escorted into an alley by Iraqi troops from the 16th Division, before gunshots ring out. Mounds of bodies found, killed in similar summary executions, all supposed “ISIS suspects.”

Pointing all this out isn’t just piling on about what are really already a well documented litany of war crimes in Iraq. Rather, because the US trained and armed the 16th Division, this has very specific legal implications for the US.

Leahy’s Law obliges the US to suspend direct military aid to the 16th Division, unless the Iraqi government shows that they are making serious efforts to prosecute war criminals, and to prevent such actions in the future, neither of which they’ve ever made even a token attempt to do.


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