The Iraqi army is reportedly using the corpses of dead Islamic State (Isis) fighters to intimidate other terrorists in the fight for Mosul.

Dead bodies covered in flies, some wearing unexploded suicide belts, litter the streets of the city, causing a serious health hazard and putting civilians' lives at risk.

But the Iraqi army has no intention of clearing them away and is hoping to send a strong message to IS (Daesh) terrorists.

"We will leave the terrorists there," Ibrahim Mohamed – a soldier who was standing near three dead jihadists – said to a Reuters reporter.

He said his cousin suffered death by electrocution at the hands of IS terrorists during their harsh rule of Mosul because the cousin was a policeman.

Not clearing the blackened and bullet-ridden bodies was also intended to scare civilians from considering joining the terror organisation.

"The message is clear to Iraqis, to keep them from joining or supporting Daesh. This will be your fate. The Iraqi army will finish you off," said Mohamed.

The Iraqi army, trained and equipped by the United States, has been engaged in an offensive to retake Mosul since October 2016.

They have made significant progress in recent weeks and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed on 23 January that his troops have complete control of the eastern part of the city and were deploying westwards across the Tigris.

Though many would champion Islamic State's downfall in Iraq, human rights organisations are likely to be troubled by the latest development in the battle for Mosul, which may be deemed a crime against humanity.

Article 17 of the Geneva Conventions state: "Parties to the conflict shall ensure that burial or cremation of the dead, carried out individually as far as circumstances permit, is preceded by a careful examination, if possible by a medical examination, of the bodies, with a view to confirming death, establishing identity and enabling a report to be made."

The conventions also state: "They shall further ensure that the dead are honourably interred, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged, that their graves are respected, grouped if possible according to the nationality of the deceased, properly maintained and marked so that they may always be found."

The United Nations has previously expressed concern about the Iraqi army after footage emerged apparently showing troops beating and executing three IS prisoners.

WARNING: Images are of a graphic nature. Your discretion is advised.

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