UN receives reports of mass killings of civilians fleeing Mosul by Daesh

GENEVA — Credible reports indicate that more than 231 civilians attempting to flee western Mosul have been killed since 26th May, including at least 204 over three days last week alone.

The UN Human Rights Office has been documenting Daesh’s use of civilians as human shields and its slaughter of those attempting to flee since the start of the Mosul operation, but recent reports indicate a significant escalation in such killings.

On 26th May, Daesh reportedly shot at civilians trying to flee al-Shifa neighbourhood in western Mosul, killing 27 people, including 14 women and five children. Their bodies were buried two days later by neighbours.

Last Thursday, 1st June, also in al-Shifa, Daesh reportedly shot and killed at least 163 civilians, including women and children, next to a Pepsi factory. Sources reported that the civilians were fleeing armed clashes between Daesh and the Iraqi Security Forces, ISF. The bodies of those who died were left on the street for several days following the killing, and an undetermined number of civilians went missing.

On Saturday, 3rd June, Daesh reportedly shot and killed at least 41 civilians in the same neighbourhood, as they attempted to flee towards ISF locations.

“Shooting children as they try to run to safety with their families, there are no words of condemnation strong enough for such despicable acts,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said. “I call on the Iraqi authorities to ensure that those who are responsible for these horrors are held accountable and brought to justice in line with international human rights laws and standards. The victims of such terrible crimes must not be forgotten,” he added.

The murder of civilians, as well as the intentional directing of an attack against civilians who are not directly taking part in hostilities, are war crimes.

Source: Emirates News Agency