THE FIGHT: Shi’ite fighters battling Islamic State militants in northern Tikrit in March claim a patch of ground. The Shi’ite militias, backed by Iran and under the nominal control of Baghdad, have been pivotal in the fight against Islamic State. (photo: Stringer/Reuters)
Ned Parker | Reuters | Reader Supported News | December 14, 2015
Two unpublished investigations show that the United States has consistently overlooked killings and torture by Iraqi government-sponsored Shi’ite militias.
t was one of the most shocking events in one of the most brutal periods in Iraq’s history. In late 2005, two years after the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein, U.S. soldiers raided a police building in Baghdad and found 168 prisoners in horrific conditions.
Many were malnourished. Some had been beaten.
The discovery of the secret prison exposed a world of kidnappings and assassinations. Behind these operations was an unofficial Interior Ministry organisation called the Special Investigations Directorate, according to U.S. and Iraqi security officials at the time.
The body was run by militia commanders from the Badr Organisation, a pro-Iran, Shi’ite political movement that today plays a major role in Baghdad’s war against Islamic State, the Sunni militant group.