HRW says Iraqi paramilitaries demolishing Sunni Arab homes

February 16, 2017 13:05

BAGHDAD - Human Rights Watch on Thursday accused Iranian-trained Iraqi paramilitary units battling Islamic State of demolishing hundreds of Sunni Arab houses near the city of Mosul, but a spokesman for the units blamed the militants for the damage.

The New York-based rights group said the mainly Shi'ite Muslim units known as Popular Mobilization had destroyed 345 houses in villages to the west of Mosul in northern Iraq after retaking them from the hardline Sunni Islamic State."There was no apparent military necessity for the demolitions, which may amount to war crimes and which took place between Nov. 2016 and Feb. 2017," the HRW said in a report.

The demolitions will prevent families displaced by the war from returning to their villages, HRW Deputy Middle East Director Lama Fakih told Reuters.

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