Iraqi minister 'sorry' for Daesh war prisoners flap


Iraqi Defense Minister Irfan al-Hayali has apologized for describing detained Daesh militants as "war prisoners".

In a statement on Sunday, al-Hayali said he was sorry for "the confusion caused by his speech about the treatment of Daesh members as war prisoners".

"Daesh members are killers and criminals," he said.

"It's a terrorist organization and UN conventions don't apply to it," al-Hayali said, adding that Daesh militants "will be treated according to Iraqi laws".

Last week, the Iraqi minister told reporters that Daesh militants held by Iraqi forces will be treated as war prisoners.

Military expert Khalil al-Nuaimi said Daesh militants don't fall under Geneva Conventions about the treatment of war prisoners.

"Prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention are those who were detained during military fighting between two states, not between a state and a terrorist organization," he told Anadolu Agency.

The Iraqi military is engaged in a wide-ranging campaign -- launched last October -- to recapture the entire city of Mosul, which Daesh overran in mid-2014.

Hundreds of Daesh militants have been captured by Iraqi forces during the fighting.

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