World Bulletin / News Desk
ISIL is using civilians as human shields and preventing them from leaving areas under its control in Iraq's northern Saladin province, an Iraqi parliamentary body said Wednesday.
According to a statement of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, ISIL was hunting down civilians attempting to flee their homes in Saladin. The trapped civilians in the area were now being used as human shields.
"ISIL gangs are committing new violations and severe crimes against civilians in Saladin province, especially women and children. ISIL has also blocked humanitarian aid to civilians, killed many of them and buried them in mass graves apart from seizing their properties" Fadel al-Gharawi, a commission member, alleged in the statement."
He called on the Iraqi government and aid organizations to provide humanitarian aid to civilians who were fleeing Saladin province. Displaced people from the province were increasing day-by-day as Iraqi forces backed by Shia militias began their ground offensive Monday to recapture Saladin’s Tikrit city, which Iraqi government hoped would eventually the pave the way for overrunning ISIL’s stronghold of Mosul in Nineveh province.
Tikrit, a Sunni-majority city, was the homeland of deceased Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
- U.S. backs military operation
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden praised Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi Wednesday for forming a unified Iraqi national front before launching the military operation against ISIL in Tikrit.
Biden also called on the Iraqi premier to protect civilians and enforce security in Saladin province after the military operation ends there.
Despite the U.S. being aware of Iran’s involvement in the operation, he said that the U.S. would not coordinate militarily with Iran.
Iraqi Minister of Interior Mohammed al-Ghaban said Wednesday that Iraq had not asked the international coalition to intervene in the military operation to free Tikrit. "We completely depend on the Iraqi air forces cover in the operation," al-Ghaban said.
Iraq has been gripped by a security vacuum since June 2014 when ISIL stormed the northern province of Mosul and declared a self-styled caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.Last Mod: 05 Mart 2015, 13:55