Several residents of Mosul recounted the grisly story for stateside relatives, describing the deadly reception black clad jihadists got when they made it to Mosul, some 250 miles north of the city retaken by Iraqi forces operating with cover from U.S. air power, FoxNews.com reports.
“They were grouped together and made to stand in a circle,” a former resident of northern Iraq now living in the U.S. but in touch with family back home told FoxNews.com. “And set on fire to die.”
Michael Pregent, a terrorism expert and former intelligence adviser to Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq, said such an act isn’t new for the callous terror group. A similar fate was meted out to fighters who lost Saddam’s hometown to Kurdish forces last year.
“There is no surprise on executing ISIS fighters from Ramadi,” he said. “They did the same to fighters after Tikrit.”
The retaking of Ramadi, the capital of the mainly Sunni-populated Anbar Province which ISIS took over last May, was a major setback for ISIS. Just 80 miles west of Baghdad, the city was overrun by ISIS in June, 2014. Iraqi forces, fighting with Sunni tribes and supported by coalition forces, recently took it back but the city remains in ruins. Booby-traps, landmines and a broken infrastructure have rendered it mostly uninhabitable for the time being.
Meanwhile, reports emerging from the city of Mosul which is under the ISIS control from the past 18 months state that the terrorist group has increased the killing of children and women on different pretexts to continue to keep an atmosphere of fear.
“They come to the house and take the children and accuse them of being spies,” said a stateside Iraqi with knowledge of the situation. “If the mom cries and gets upset at them, they accuse of her being a spy too and take her to the jail and later kill her.”
Earlier this year, activist group Mosul Eye reported that ISIS committed mass executions of men and children at Alhud Village just south of Mosul, accusing the entire township of apostasy and affiliation to the local Iraqi police forces.
In late December, several teenagers aged between 12 and 16 were reportedly caught trying to flee across the Tigris River toward the Kurdish region, and subsequently accused of being “spies” by ISIS and within minutes publicly executed in front of their families. -KP