The Daily Beast reports: “This is payback for the Speicher massacre,” a Shia soldier said to a Sunni as he stomped all over him and some other helpless Sunni prisoners, his colleagues hitting them with whatever came to hand: metal rods, shovels, pipes, cables. He was referring to a notorious mass execution of Shia military cadets by ISIS in June 2014. In August this year, the Baghdad government executed dozens of people for the atrocities at Speicher. But that was not enough for these Shias seeking their own revenge.
With Iraqi forces inexorably advancing on Mosul, more and more villages are being liberated from the rule of ISIS. Ever more Sunnis are fleeing into other areas of Iraq (if they are not first killed by ISIS snipers or mines). The opportunities for such revenge are growing every day, and they are being taken not just by the Shia militias operating in this war but by the state apparatus, too, fuelling a cycle of violence which can only lead to the next insurgency, whatever form that will take.
A recent report from Amnesty International details this and many other atrocities: cases of torture and extra-judicial executions with hundreds upon hundreds of Sunni men still missing; 643 from one tribe following the liberation of Saqliwa in June, with a further 49 definitely killed. What the report implicitly shows is that Iraq after ISIS promises to be more, not less, unstable, even after this global battle for Mosul and the inevitable military defeat of ISIS. [Continue reading…]