Iraqi troops short of supplies and discipline

The Iraqi army has been accused of taking tents from refugees for their own troops, despite pledging to help the hundreds of thousands expected to be made homeless by their operation to liberate Mosul from Isil.

When the Telegraph visited a camp in the town of Tinah, near Qayyarah in northern Iraq, this week they were told by local Iraqi police guarding the site that soldiers had come and loaded the tents, as well as eight UN-supplied water tanks, onto their trucks and left.

“They were coming from Baghdad, they said they were the rapid response unit,” said one officer who did not wish to be named to protect his identity.

“They said they needed them as they didn’t have enough at their base.

“I begged them not to take them as the refugees here have nothing, but they ignored me and I couldn’t stop them.”

The troops took around 175 of the 200 tents, which were provided by the Iraqi ministry of displacement and migration, and sent them on to the QWest base they share with US troops in the nearby town of Qayyarah.

“Some of the families were thrown out of their tents while they were still in them,” said one refugee at the camp.

“Children were left without homes, again. They have had to move in with others and it is very cramped.”

The troops also took eight Unicef water tanks serving the some 300 families at the site, all of whom have recently fled fighting in their home towns and villages around Isil’s stronghold of Mosul.
The lack of logistics and the discipline to take care of refugees  shows how poorly trained the Iraqi forces are.  I suspect there might be an ethnic element to this abuse since the troops are mainly Shia and the refugees are mainly Sunni Muslims.


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