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Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Amnesty International Report: Shiite Militias Using U.S. Weapons for War Crimes

As I have stated in the past, American weapons are frequently used on both sides of a confrontation. In today's madness, wars are now often fought with anywhere from a half-dozen to a dozen combatant groups with varying degrees of morality. Weapons, and even money, flows from western countries to militias that have no moral right to exist, so Amnesty's findings are no surprise.

It's disappointing though that Americans didn't see this happening and take measures to stop it. It's unlikely that they did not know about it; it's likely they just did not care, after all, they are on the same side. But, let's not have any more moral judgments on other countries who employ similar lapses in moral character in bringing ISIS to an end. 

Supplying weapons to anyone is, apparently, a necessary evil; but it is an evil! Weapons sales seem to be far more important than human lives in many western countries. We will have to answer to God for that.

By Eric DuVall 

Iraqi Shiite fighters from the Abbas brigade militia take part in a military operation in western Mosul, Iraq, in November. A new report by Amnesty International accuses the militias of committing war crimes using U.S.-made weapons given to them by the Iraqi government in the fight against ISIS. Photo by Khider Abbas/European Pressphoto Agency

BAGHDAD, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Human rights group Amnesty International says Shiite militias are committing war crimes using U.S. weapons provided by the Iraqi government in the fight against the Islamic State.

Issued Thursday, the Amnesty report highlights a central fear that the Iraqi government is essentially deputizing the militias in the fight against the Islamic State. Members of the militias were responsible for thousands of deaths in the years-long insurgency that came after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Amnesty International said it has evidence the militias, known as al-Hashd al-Shaabi, have been given everything from tanks and combat vehicles to grenade launchers and a large number of small arms. Amnesty said those weapons, manufactured in the United States and elsewhere and originally given to the Iraqi government, are now being used by the militias to carry out extrajudicial killings and revenge attacks against civilians under the guise of working with the Iraqi army to retake Mosul, the last major city controlled by the Islamic State.

"International arms suppliers, including the U.S.A., European countries, Russia and Iran, must wake up to the fact that all arms transfers to Iraq carry a real risk of ending up in the hands of militia groups with long histories of human rights violations," said Patrick Wilcken, an Amnesty researcher.

Iraqi government officials and a spokesman for the militias denied the report, saying the two groups have abided by international law and proven reliable partners in the fight against the Islamic State.

"Whatever is circulated across malicious media about violations is untrue," militia spokesman Ahmed al-Assadi said during a press conference. "The priority for al-Hashd al-Shaabi is to protect civilians, and we shall chase [the Islamic State] to the last spot of Mosul and based on directives from the supreme commander of the armed forces."