The Iraqi government has ordered an investigation into allegations that members of its security forces tortured, killed and raped civilians while fighting Isis in Mosul.

It follows a report by the German newspaper Der Spiegel, which published images captured by freelance photographer Ali Arkady who documented the atrocities.

He was embedded with the army's Emergency Response Division (ERD) and had hoped to capture their heroism while they fought the radical Islamists, but was instead confronted by a darker reality of the campaign.

Arkady's images show men hanging blindfolded from ceilings while his written account describes how soldiers and police forces competed to rape the most beautiful women.

Iraq's Interior Minister released a statement on Wednesday (24 May) confirming the probe in response to Der Spiegel's report.

"The Interior Minister ordered investigators to conduct a clear and fair inquiry...[and] to take legal measures against those who are negligent if the investigation proves so," the statement said.

Brett McGurk, the US presidential envoy to the Coalition against Isis, also called for legal action to be taken in a statement released via Twitter.

"Iraqi forces have bravely placed civilian protection as a top priority throughout Mosul campaign, at great risk to their own personnel," he said.

"Individuals or units failing to uphold that standard do a disservice to their sacrifice and must be investigated and held accountable."

Arkady, an Iraqi Kurd, has since had to flee his country for fears over his and his family's security.

In the last line of his piece, titled Not Heroes But Monsters, Arkady writes: "It is the price I pay for my work – to publish what I have witnessed. It is mine to bear. I pay it."