Middle East

Salah al-Din Villagers: Our lives Are Worse Now Under Shia Militia Control Than During ISIS Era

Salah al-Din Villagers: Our lives Are Worse Now Under Shia Militia Control Than During ISIS Era

The following is the combined testimony of a number of individuals resident in the vicinity of Farhatiya village, Salah al Din ( صلاح الدين) Province, Iraq. The Sunni village was the site of an incident in which eight civilians were massacred by gunmen on Saturday, October 17th. Four other men are missing. No organization has taken responsibility for the attack. Many of the local people suspect the involvement of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq (عصائب الحق) militia, a pro-Iranian Shia force, in the killings. MECRA’s Iraq correspondent travelled to the area and spoke with local people in the days following the massacre. The individuals interviewed asked both for their names and identifying details not to be made public.

Farhatiya (الفرحاتية) is an area controlled by Asaib Ahl al Haq. In recent weeks, people from the village went to representatives of the militia to complain about certain security issues in their area. They spoke with the leader of AAH there, telling him that unknown, suspicious individuals had been seen in the area, and AAH should address this, as they are responsible for the area. In response, the local commander told them that the area was fully under control and they should not worry.

People in this area do not trust the PMU and prefer to secure their village by their own efforts. They placed armed men on the roofs of a number of houses to keep watch. On October 16th, four armed men were spotted entering the village. One of the guards on the roof called on them to identify themselves. They responded by opening fire on him. He returned fire, killing one of them. The others returned, apparently to the headquarters of AAH. Asaib ahl Al-Haq then returned the next day with a large armed force, in the middle of the night. They took 12 males from the village to an unknown place. The force came at 12 at night in seven four-wheel drive Adhari vehicles. In the morning eight dead bodies were found in the countryside around the village. At 1 am the people of the village reported hearing the sound of intense gunfire. At 4 am the murdered individuals were found near the Al-Ishaqi* project…

To read more visit MECRA.

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