Shiite militias destroy Iraqi villages, displace thousands: rights group

In this Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, photo, a Shiite militia fighter holds an Iraqi flag with the image of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammed, outside of Kirkuk, Iraq. (AP Photo/Emad Matti)

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Iraqi Shi’ite militias unleashed a campaign of “deliberate and wanton destruction” as they rampaged through dozens of villages last year after driving Islamic State fighters out of the northern town of Amerli, rights activists said on Wednesday.

The militias, along with Iraqi security forces and volunteer fighters, ransacked, torched, bulldozed and blew up thousands of Sunni homes and businesses, Human Rights Watch said.

Shi’ite militias have teamed up with Iraqi government forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters to dislodge Islamic State, the hardline Sunni Islamist group which has seized swathes of northern and central Iraq.

But HRW warned that militia abuses were exacerbating sectarian grievances in the deeply divided country.

It said militias and government forces had destroyed over 75 percent of buildings in at least 18 villages surrounding Amerli, including schools, mosques and clinics…

The Iraqis are not going to rid of Islamic State without using Shiite militias. Will the cure be worse than the disease?