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Iraq Security Forces Violate Int’l Law in Operation Against IS: UN Report

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Iraqi security forces (ISF) have violated international human rights law in their efforts to combat Islamic State (IS) militants, which led to a number of civilian deaths, a UN report published Thursday revealed.

MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti) – Iraqi security forces (ISF) have violated international human rights law in their efforts to combat Islamic State (IS) militants, which led to a number of civilian deaths, a UN report published Thursday revealed.

"An increasing number of civilian casualties have been attributed to airstrikes carried out by ISF. While there is no evidence that ISF have deliberately targeted civilians, the strikes have nonetheless resulted in in significant civilian deaths and injuries and destruction of civilian infrastructure," the 29-page report produced jointly by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said.

"These included air strikes and shelling as well as conduct of particular military operations or attacks that may have violated the principles of distinction and proportionality under international humanitarian law," it added.

The report, based on nearly 500 interviews and covering the period from July 6 to September 10, also details gross abuses of human rights that have been perpetrated by the IS in Iraq.

"These include attacks directly targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, executions and other targeted killings of civilians, abductions, rape and other forms of sexual and physical violence perpetrated against women and children, forced recruitment of children, destruction or desecration of places of religious or cultural significance, wanton destruction and looting of property, and denial of fundamental freedoms," the report said.

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is a Sunni extremist group which has seized vast territories in Iraq and Syria, prompting US President Barack Obama to create an anti-IS coalition to conduct airstrikes against IS positions in Syria, while also continuing air raids against IS targets in Iraq.

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