A video released online shows men in Iraqi military uniforms beating a bearded detainee, then drag him to the edge of a cliff, throw him off and shoot him and another body at the bottom.
Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, the spokesman for Iraq’s Joint Operations Command, said anyone committing rights abuses would be held accountable, but he also suggested the videos may be faked and circulated to distract from the recent victory over IS in Mosul.
‘Don’t forget that there are those that would like to reduce the joy and the comfort we have from this victory,’ Rasool said through an interpreter, speaking at an unusual briefing in the Pentagon.
Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan said a number of personnel had been suspended.
‘There might be some misbehaviour or inappropriate conduct by some of the forces, yes. But the investigation is going on,’ Maan said.
Human Rights Watch earlier Thursday called on Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to launch investigations of any abuses.
The Iraqi officials also addressed recent criticisms that security forces – as well as the US-led coalition – had failed to do enough to protect civilians during the brutal Mosul offensive war.