Iraq using barrel bombs, hitting Fallujah hospital: HRW
Iraqi residents inspect damages following shelling by government forces in an area of Fallujah held by anti-government fighters - AFP/Saddam Hussein

LONDON: Iraq’s government is dropping barrel bombs and may also be targeting a hospital in its battle with militants in Fallujah, Sky News Arabia quoted Human Rights Watch (HRW) as saying Tuesday.

The New York-based rights watchdog also said abuses committed by the powerful Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant jihadist group — among the main militant organizations in Fallujah — likely amounted to crimes against humanity.

“In terms of what ISIL has taken responsibility for … (they) have committed horrible crimes,” said HRW’s Iraq Researcher Erin Evers, pointing to the group’s claims of having carried out suicide and car bomb attacks and summary executions.

“But to equate them with the crimes of a government that has rescinded responsibility for protecting its civilian population and … rescinded responsibility for respecting its own laws and international law, there is no way the two can be equated.”

HRW also said the Iraqi government has shelled the main hospital to the point that such strikes “strongly suggest that Iraqi forces have targeted it, which would constitute a serious violation of the laws of war.”

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