ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A young man from western Mosul alleges that his mother and sister have been killed by Iraqi Federal Police and the whereabouts of his father are unknown.
“They took us out and asked us to lie down on the ground. ...We lay down on the ground, face down. They shot me first, then my sister, my brother, and then my mother,” Qusay Abdo Salih, recounts the moment his mother and sister were killed by person he believes were from the Iraqi Federal Police who are leading the fight against ISIS in their last remaining hold out.
Qusay has survived and so has his 13-year old brother, who is in a coma after being shot in the head. But his mother and his 7-year old sister died immediately.
The two wounded brothers passed the night at the scene and the next morning made their way to a main road where they were picked up by a Federal Police unit, transferred to a hospital in Hammam al-Alil, south of Mosul, where they received some treatment before being finally transferred to Erbil.
He said the abduction happened one evening three days ago.
It all began when the family wanted to flee the western Mosul district of Shifa, where Iraqi forces and ISIS militants were engaged in weeks-long clashes.
“After we passed the third bridge, we came across the Federal Police. They took us to a place that was near that area,” Qusay said.
“Then they checked us in a normal way and we stayed there for a while in the same place. Then they were transferring us in stages because there were snipers in the hospital. Then they took us to a house and gathered all of us together. Then an officer from the Federal Police came and he had a star and an eagle on his shoulder. He started to investigate us. He asked several questions and then reassured us that we are safe and that they are like our family. They took our IDs, made copies of them, and did their follow up. Then a soldier came to us and talked to my father. He asked my father ‘What is your profession?’ My father told him that he is a physician.”
As soon as his father said that he was a physician, he was accused of being an ISIS doctor.
“The soldier looked towards the officer and told him to look after him, that he could be an ISIS physician. My father ironically thanked the soldier for what he had said. After a while, they transferred us to a different house. Then the officer again came back to us and reassured us once more that they are our brothers and soon they will take us to the left bank of Mosul and then we will be free to do what we want.”
Everything went as normal until the Federal Police realized that the family had what Qusay says was four kilos of gold, 5 million Iraqi dinars, and $1,100. He believes that is why they attempted to separate the family.
They took away the father, a doctor at Jumhuri hospital, and then took the mother, two sons, and a daughter to a different place.
“They put us in a pick-up truck. Two soldiers, the officer, and a driver accompanied us. They took us to an abandoned place. When they came upon a road that was closed, they would go back and take a different turn to another abandoned place. They wanted to take us to an isolated place away from the people. I think it was an abandoned place in Hawi al-Kanisa, close to the lake. They took us out and asked us to lie down on the ground. Our father was not with us. It was me, my mother, my sister, and my brother. We lay down on the ground, face down. They shot me first, then my sister, my brother, and then my mother.”
The spokesperson of the Iraqi Joint Command claims that there may be ISIS militants who have infiltrated the ranks of the Iraqi forces in order to kidnap and kill people.
He says that they will form an investigative committee to examine the case.
“Why haven't these families filed a complaint with the security forces and the Joint Command?” Yahya Rasul from the Iraqi Joint Command told Rudaw on Sunday. “We are prepared to listen to them, and if their testimonies turn out to be true and are proven, we will then form an investigative committee. Some agents from ISIS may have infiltrated the army and wear the uniform of the Federal Police to commit acts of theft, kidnapping, and killing.”
His mother’s and sister’s dead bodies, Qusay says, are still in Mosul, and they are not allowed to recover them.
He does not know the fate of his father.
Iraqi forces recaptured the Shifa district on Saturday.