Civil Defense teams are still recovering bodies from the rubble in west Mosul. A family of eight was discovered in a basement after their house collapsed on top of them two weeks before. A girl was found after she got trapped looking for her family. Two other families were uncovered in their destroyed homes. The Mosul Morgue is still receiving 30-40 corpses a day. This will be a long and arduous operation as so much of west Mosul was damaged in the fighting. An unknown amount of people died in the process, and they have yet to be dug out.
During his Friday Sermon Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s representative called on the Iraqi forces to stop extra judicial killings and abuses of Islamic State suspects. This came after four videos were posted on Facebook of soldiers and police beating and then executing captured IS elements in the Old City of west Mosul along with other similar stories. The Ayatollah has made statements like this before, but to little effect. Abuses and murders routinely happen in every military operation as acts of revenge against the militants. The public usually welcomes them, and Baghdad has never been serious about stopping it.
Tensions between Hashd groups continued in northeast Mosul. An argument escalated into a gunfight between the Ninewa Guards and Kataib Sayid al-Shuhada in a Mosul neighborhood. The army was called in to settle things and some Guards’ members were arrested. Sayid al-Shuhada later issued a statement telling the Guards to leave the area or suffer retaliation. Sayid al-Shuhada is not part of the security forces in Mosul, but many Hashd groups have been moving in and out of the city, usually to set up offices. This confrontation is a sign of the difficulties the city is having with so many different armed groups under no unified command.
Finally, former Ninewa Governor Atheel Nujafi responded to Vice President Nouri al-Maliki’s statements yesterday in an interview with Sputnik News. Maliki in part blamed Nujafi for the fall of Mosul in 2014. Nujafi shot back that it was Maliki who was responsible. Now that the battle for the city is over more politicians and civil groups are discussing who was behind the city’s collapse to the Islamic State, and whether anyone should be charged. The Iraqi government rarely puts its own on trial. The elite will attack each other however, which is what is happening now for probably the next year as elections are scheduled for 2018.
Associated Press, “Iraqis arrest 26 foreigners in Mosul; 16 women,” 7/22/17
Baghdad Post, “Sistani calls for ‘punishing justice’ ISIS captives,” 7/22/17
- “Victory floating bridge set to link western, eastern banks of Mosul,” 7/22/17
Bas News, “5 Captives in IS Secret Jail in Nineveh Released,” 7/22/17
- “Conflicts Between Shi’ite, Sunni Militias in Mosul on the Rise,” 7/22/17
Cockburn, Patrick, “The world’s lack of outrage over tens of thousands of civilian deaths in Mosul is shameful,” Independent, 7/21/17
Coles, Isabel, “Mosul morgue workers struggle to cope with ‘river of blood,’” Reuters, 7/21/17
Iraq News Network, “Nujafi: Maliki and his corrupt gang behind the handover of Mosul,” 7/22/17
Al Mada, “Joint operations: We killed 30 thousand Daash in Mosul,” 7/22/17
Mostafa, Nehal, “Seventeen IS female members killed, injured as missile shot west of Mosul,” Iraqi News, 7/22/17
New Sabah, “Mosalites underestimate the importance of checkpoints and call for intensified intelligence work,” 7/22/17