Kurdish forces have destroyed thousands of homes in villages and towns in northern Iraq in an apparent attempt to uproot Arab communities, Amnesty International says in a new report.
"Peshmerga forces from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Kurdish militias in northern Iraq have bulldozed, blown up, and burned down thousands of homes in...Arab communities in revenge for their perceived support for the so-called Islamic State (IS)”, the rights group said on January 19.
Amnesty International said the destruction took place after Kurdish forces recaptured areas from the extremist Islamic State group.
Arab residents who fled their homes are also barred by Kurdish forces from returning to recaptured areas, Amnesty said.
The London-based rights group added it had gathered evidence from more than 100 eyewitnesses and victims of forced displacement.
“The forced displacement of civilians and the deliberate destruction of homes and property without military justification may amount to war crimes,” said Amnesty International’s adviser Donatella Rovera, who carried out the field research in northern Iraq.