Mosul MPs urge government to halt aerial bombing

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By Samer Saeed

Azzaman, August 26, 2014

Members of parliament representing the Province of Nineveh have urged the country’s leaders to halt airstrikes on the city of Mosul, the provincial capital.

Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city fell to Jihadists from the Islamic State (IS) on June 10, who have imposed harsh Islamic rules of the Middle Ages on its nearly two million people.

Since its fall, the city has come under almost daily bombing by Iraqi air force and, according to the MPs, many civilians have been killed and property damaged as a result.

In a press conference at the parliament building, the MPs spoke of “arbitrary bombing raids” on Mosul and other provincial towns.

Ahmad al-Jibouri, an MP with a Mosul constituency, spoke of an airstrike on the town of Qaiyara, south Mosul in which eight women and children were killed.

“The arbitrary bombing raids are hurting civilians a great deal and they are not going to liberate cities,” he said.

He claimed that intelligence reports on which Iraqi Air Force pilots carried out their raids “are meant to incite locals against the government.”

He said the civilians killed in these raids “have nothing to do with armed groups.”

MP Abdulrahman Allawzi described the raids “as killing for the sake of killing.”

He said there was no difference between “car bombings and the barrel bombs Iraqi planes drop on residential areas.”

He said as Kurdish militias – peshmerga – advancing under cover of U.S. airstrikes, were forcing Arab inhabitants of the villages and town they retake to flee.

“The people of the Province of Nineveh suffer from ethnic cleansing under the pretext of fighting terror,” he added.