The extreme punishment levied by the ISIS savages was beheading and crucifixion for the crime of theft. We wonder if the throngs of people watching the executions are just there for propaganda purposes -- similar to the jubilant crowds that always formed when Saddam Hussein was speaking, unveiling a statue, etc. -- or if they are really part of the wolf-pack that loves these blood sports. The only bright spot in this otherwise black event is that it means more jihadis have been killed by jihadis. If they keep killing each other at this rate, they may wipe themselves out.
From the Daily Mail
By John Hall
Depraved militants fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq have brutally beheaded four men accused of theft, before displaying their bodies on railings in a town square.
Taken in ISIS' northern stronghold of Mosul, the photographs show four men being interviewed by the terrorists before they are dragged before bloodthirsty crowds eager to see their executions.
The savage punishment is a significantly more extreme than ISIS' usual punishment for theft - which typically sees the accused having their right hand hacked-off by machete-wielding jihadis who pump the men full of drugs to numb the limb before severing it from the victim's body.
The first photograph shows the four men sitting on a sofa in what appears to an interview-type situation with their jihadi captors.
All of the men wear their beards without moustaches in a style commonly associated with Islamist beliefs and their military-style clothing suggests the victims may well have been fighters themselves.
If the men were ISIS members, that could be one explanation for why they were given considerably harsher punishments than those usually received by ordinary citizens accused of similar crimes.
A final photograph shows all four men on their knees as the knife-wielding militants swarm upon them, before carrying out the brutal beheadings. Locals on the ground suggested the men's decapitated bodies were later put on public display in central Mosul.
Yesterday U.S.-led forces targeted ISIS with eight airstrikes in Iraq and conducted five airstrikes in Syria, the U.S. military said.
The air strikes, conducted since Sunday morning, hit near Bayji, Mosul and Ramadi, in Iraq, destroying fighting positions, mortar positions and a sniper position, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement.
In Syria, the air strikes destroyed eight fighting positions, an ISIS tunnel system and a vehicle near Hasaka, a vehicle near the terrorists' de facto capital Raqqa, and two buildings in Kobane, it said.
The news comes as Iraq's prime minister vowed to protect the people living in territories controlled by ISIS from any retribution or rights violations when their lands are retaken by government forces.
Speaking in Irbil, capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, Haider al-Abadi pledged that the 'properties and rights' of local residents would be respected once ISIS militants are driven out.
'We assure the people of Anbar and Ninevah provinces and other territories under IS control that we do respect the people and will not tolerate any violations against their properties, rights and souls,' al-Abadi said, using an alternative acronym for the terror group.
Iraqi forensic teams have described how they wept as they began to excavate 12 graves, believed to be the final resting place of as many as 1,700 soldiers killed in cold blood by ISIS last summer.
The teams began the gruesome task of uncovering the bodies of the young army recruits of Camp Speicher, slaughtered by the Sunni ISIS militants as they surged across northern Iraq for the 'crime' of being Shi'ite.
The deaths showed Iraqis that ISIS, who have also attacked ethnic and religious minorities as well as fellow Sunni Muslims opposing them, were a threatening new kind of foe.
Yesterday, the first of the 12 mass graves on the banks of the Tigris River began to give up their terrible secrets, days after Islamic State's fighters were driven from the city by Iraqi forces and Shi'ite paramilitaries.
Volunteer Shiite militiamen, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, have fought alongside Iraqi army troops and are credited with playing a crucial role in pushing ISIS out of Tikrit and other cities.
However the Iranian-backed Shiite militias have also been accused of looting and vandalizing the Sunni towns they have retaken.
Al-Abadi admits that dozens of houses and shops were burned in Tikrit, and that several people were arrested and now await trial over violations committed there.
With Tikrit taken, many residents expect the government offensive to now target either Anbar province or Ninevah province - home to Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul - for the next phase of the effort to push ISIS back.
But some Sunni residents remain fearful that a government victory would simply trade the harsh rule of the Islamic militants for vengeance from undisciplined Shiite militiamen.
ISIS controls about a third of northern and western Iraq.
In Monday's violence, police and hospital officials said three people were killed and 17 others were wounded in two separate bombings targeting public spaces in the capital, Baghdad.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.