Rights group says ban militias with record of abuses from Mosul battle

July 31, 2016 09:20

BAGHDAD - Iraqi military commanders should prevent militias with records of serious abuses from taking part in a planned offensive on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul, campaign group Human Rights Watch said on Sunday.

The battle for Mosul, the ultra-hardline militants' de facto capital in Iraq and the largest city anywhere in their self-proclaimed caliphate, is expected later this year but plans have not been finalized, officials and diplomats in Baghdad say.

Army, police and counter-terrorism forces are expected to participate, backed by air support from a US-led coalition.

The role of Kurdish peshmerga forces and Shi'ite Muslim militias from the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) is unresolved and remains a point of contention. They will likely join in the larger battle but may be restricted to the city's outskirts, the officials say.

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