The allegations were supported by photographs taken by Iraqi photographer Ali Arkady, who was embedded with the unit in the early months of the battle for Mosul. According to Arkady, his intention was to document the heroism of Iraqi forces, but instead, he witnessed torture, rapes and murders.
One of his photos shows a detainee accused of being affiliated with Daesh hanging from the ceiling with his arms bent behind him. Another features a blindfolded man on the ground with an apparent uniformed soldier holding a knife to his ear. Arkady wrote in the article that a soldier repeatedly stabbed the man behind his ear, bragging that he learned the technique from US experts.
Arkady claims, however, that nearby US troops were informed of a nighttime raid the unit carried out near Mosul in November and that the troops observed it from aerial drones. Coalition officials said they were looking into the allegations, noting that the US does not currently train or equip the ERD.
"Any violation of the law of armed conflict would be unacceptable and should be investigated in a transparent manner," the coalition said in a statement.
US Defense Department policies require that Iraqi Security Forces receiving Washington's assistance are strictly vetted to ensure compliance with the Leahy law, which prohibits the US from supporting units accused of human rights abuses for which there's credible evidence.
According to Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan, the minister vowed to "take legal action in accordance with the laws and the Ministry of Interior against the wrongdoers."