Militants execute 20 Iraqi soldiers as troops close in on jihadists in Falluja

Print Friendly

By Nourideen Hameed

Azzaman, May 12, 2014

Militants executed 20 Iraqi soldiers whom they had taken prisoner following an ambush on an Iraqi army convoy close to the northern city of Mosul, Iraqi army officers said.

The officers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the troops mistook jihadists from Iraq-based ISIS to be friendly soldiers as they were using the same vehicles.

“They killed all the 20 soldiers they had arrested by shooting them in the head,” one officer said. “The marks from the attack and the gruesome killing all point to ISIS.”

ISIS is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and its militants are fighting the governments of both Syria and Iraq.

ISIS jihadists are mainly concentrated in Sunni-dominated provinces in the country, and particularly the restive Province of Anbar.

ISIS fighters are still in control of the strategic town of Falluja but Iraqi troops are reported to be closing in on their positions, cutting supply roads and almost encircling the town.

Iraqi army statements speak of scores of ISIS fighters being killed and many of their positions overrun.

In Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Provinces, the troops are still trying to clear what they say are “a few remaining posts” where ISIS jihadists are holding out.

The province, the largest in Iraq in area, has been the scene of ferocious fighting for nearly three months when in a surprise attack ISIS controlled Falluja and several neighborhoods of Ramadi.

An army officer said even if the troops manage to purge Falluja and Ramadi, “pockets of ISIS terrorists” will still remain.

Last week, shelling said to be by ISIS targeted two neighborhoods in the outskirts of Baghdad.