(Just Security) – Human Rights Watch saw Shia armed forces allied with the Iraqi government commit horrific abuses against the Sunni civilian population during the operation to retake Fallujah back in May. We didn’t want it to happen again in Mosul. As a result, Human Rights Watch pressed the Iraqi government to keep the abusive units within the Popular Mobilization Forces, also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, out of the Mosul operation. Diplomats I spoke with at the time said that letting these militia participate could be the biggest risk to the Sunni Arab civilians of Mosul as they fled the fighting against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL).