Images have been revealed of hundreds of suspected ISIS fighters that are being kept in cramped conditions just outside the city of Mosul.
Associated Press reporters who visited the facility reportedly saw up to 100 fighters in one room.
Apparently, they were placed shoulder to shoulder in a room with no ventilation or electricity.
The temperatures during the reporters’ visit were well exceeding 45C during the day.
An Iraqi source who works at the facility said that the 370 detainees experience health problems because of the conditions they are kept in.
Prisoners are infected with diseases, lots of health and skin problems, because they’re not exposed to the sun.
The majority can’t walk. Their legs are swollen because they can’t move.
A medical examiner checks the detainees only occasionally.
The officer told the AP reporters that over 1000 detainees had passed through the facility over the last 12 weeks.
Roughly 500 of those have been sent to Baghdad for investigation.
Nearly 3000 more suspects are being kept at another facility further south of the city.
Detainees spoke to the reporters on condition of anonymity, but insisted that they were innocent.
One prisoner said:
You won’t find 10 real (ISIS fighters) among these guys. And all of them have spent more than six months here.
Since I got here eight months ago, I’ve only seen the sun once.
They said my name was in their database. I haven’t seen any court or judge.
I don’t even know what I’m accused of. A lot of names are the same.
This man claimed to be a civil servant, stating that he was travelling between Baghdad and Mosul.
It is known that during the effort to retake the city, many ISIS fighters used civilians as human shields to defend against the U.S. led attacks.
This, coupled with many ISIS fighters hiding among fleeing civilians, made it difficult for officials to correctly identify the real enemy.
Many of those in the prison have become ill, and have had to have limbs amputated due to poor medical facilities.
Another prisoner told the reporters:
We really want to die. None of us have received any visitors, relatives, family members.
They don’t even know where we are.
This comes just days after ISIS were defeated in Iraq thanks to the prolonged attack on Mosul and the destruction of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri where they declared their caliphate three years ago.
Since then, counter-terrorist experts have said that ISIS will become an insurgency like al-Qaeda ‘on steroids’.
Lahur Talabany, the most senior counter-terror expert in Iraqi Kurdistan has said that their morale will not be easily bruised by this defeat.