Jihadist militants from Islamic State (IS) have burned to death 45 people in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, the local police chief says.

Exactly who these people were and why they were killed is not clear, but Col Qasim al-Obeidi said he believed some were members of the security forces.

IS fighters captured much of the town, near Ain al-Asad air base, last week.

Col Obeidi said a compound that houses the families of security personnel and local officials was now under attack.

He pleaded for help from the government and the international community.

The fighting and poor communications in the area make it difficult to confirm such reports.

Earlier this month, IS published a video showing militants burning alive a Jordanian air force pilot, whose plane crashed in Syria in December.

Al-Baghdadi had been besieged for months by Islamic State fighters before its fall on Thursday.

It had been one of the few towns to still be controlled by the Iraqi government in Anbar province, where IS and allied Sunni Arab tribesmen launched an offensive in January 2014.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm John Kirby told reporters on Friday that al-Baghdadi’s capture needed to be put in perspective.

He said it was the first time in the last couple of months that the jihadist group had taken new ground.

However, Ain al-Asad air base, where about 320 US Marines are training members of the Iraqi army’s 7th Division, is only 8km (5 miles) away.

The base was itself attacked by IS militants, among them several suicide bombers, on Friday. The militants were eventually repelled by Iraqi troops backed by US-led coalition aircraft.

ALSO READ  Israeli forces post images of targeted sites inside Syria

In a separate development on Tuesday, the influential Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr announced he was withdrawing his forces from an umbrella group of Shia militia fighting IS alongside the Iraqi army.

He cited what he called the bad behaviour of other militia within the Popular Mobilisation Forces, whom he accused of “wreaking havoc through murdering, kidnapping and violating sanctuaries”.

Shia militia have been accused of kidnapping and killing scores of Sunni civilians since Islamic State launched an offensive in northern Iraq last June that saw it seize large swathes of the country.

 

BBC

Share this article:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.