Fight for Mosul must protect civilians and minorities
As the fog of war engulfs Mosul, Iraq, the international community must ensure coalition forces protect innocent civilian life and take precautions to save minority populations as they fight to defeat ISIS. The atrocities committed in Anbar province cannot be repeated.
One Free World International in February blew the whistle on the massacre of Yazidis and Sunni civilians by forces fighting ISIS when Shia militias fighting for Iraq reclaimed Anbar province from ISIS’ deadly grip.
During the fight for Anbar, Yazidi and sunni civilians were indiscriminately killed by the liberating forces, with a report of 55 Yazidis being killed in one compound alone and hundreds more throughout the campaign that pushed ISIS from Anbar province.
A military campaign to reclaim the city of Mosul and defeat ISIS in Iraq began this week is being led by Iraqi forces with the support of Kurdish and international coalition forces. The campaign has been months in preparation and is the last ISIS stronghold in Iraq.
ISIS' defeat in Mosul will be an important step in the long road to returning security to the region and hopefully allow the tens of thousands of civilians including the Christian minority community to return home, as the Iraqi government has promised in the past. The international community must hold fighting forces accountable as they advance this important fight.
One Free World International is in regular contact with OFWI members in Mosul and will remain vigilant to do what we can to protect innocent civilian life. We call on the international community to work with the Government of Iraq to ensure the atrocities committed in Anbar are not repeated in the fight to liberate Mosul.