A man cries as he carries his daughter while walking from a Daesh-controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017.
A man cries as he carries his daughter while walking from a Daesh-controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq, March 4, 2017.

The US-led coalition on Wednesday said an Amnesty International report accusing its forces of violating international law during the fight against Daesh in Iraq's city of Mosul is "irresponsible."

Colonel Joe Scrocca, a coalition spokesman said that "war is not pleasant, and pretending that it should be is foolish and places the lives of civilians and soldiers alike at risk."

Amnesty International released a report on Tuesday saying coalition forces may have committed war crimes during their gruelling nine-month battle against Daesh in Iraq's second largest city.

The report came a day after Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al Abadi declared "total victory" in the city.

Amnesty also documented war crimes committed by Daesh, including mass killings, forced displacement and the use of civilians as human shields.

Much of Mosul has been destroyed in grinding street-to-street fighting, thousands of civilians have been killed and nearly a million people fled their homes, according to the United Nations. (Reuters)
Much of Mosul has been destroyed in grinding street-to-street fighting, thousands of civilians have been killed and nearly a million people fled their homes, according to the United Nations. (Reuters)

Widespread destruction

A 100,000-strong alliance of Iraqi government units, Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Shia militias had launched the offensive in October, with key air and ground support from the international coalition.

Much of Mosul has been destroyed in grinding street-to-street fighting, thousands of civilians have been killed and nearly a million people fled their homes, according to the United Nations.

Amnesty said Iraqi forces and the coalition carried out a series of unlawful attacks in west Mosul since January, relying heavily on Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions (IRAMs), explosive weapons with crude targeting capabilities that wreaked havoc in densely populated areas.

"Even in attacks that seem to have struck their intended military target, the use of unsuitable weapons or failure to take other necessary precautions resulted in needless loss of civilian lives and in some cases appears to have constituted disproportionate attacks," the report said.

Amnesty also slammed Daesh for a host of crimes that have been documented previously.

The militants rounded up residents in contested villages and neighbourhoods and forced them to move into conflict zones in west Mosul for use as human shields, it said.

As clashes neared, they trapped the civilians inside houses without access to food or medical care, it said.

The militants also fought and hid among the population.

Daesh summarily killed hundreds, if not thousands, of men, women and children who attempted to flee and hanged their bodies in public areas, according to the report.

To read Amnesty's full report, click here.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies