Islamic militants publicly execute four alleged Syrian spies in Iraq town

AFP-JIJI

Jihadist militants publicly executed four Syrian men in a western Iraqi town for allegedly spying for President Bashar Assad’s regime, witnesses and a doctor said Monday.

Militants flying the flag of the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant brought the men to a main street in Al-Qaim, near Iraq’s border with Syria, in a convoy of trucks on Sunday, witnesses said.

The group now refers to itself as the Islamic State (IS).

One militant then announced that they were spies for Assad’s regime, which the IS is fighting in Syria, and the men, their hands bound, were shot dead one by one.

Their bodies were taken away by ambulance, and Dr. Mustafa Shawqi from the Al-Qaim hospital confirmed the deaths.

IS jihadists have repeatedly carried out executions in both Iraq and Syria, and have documented their deeds online with grisly photos of their victims, including some who have been beheaded.

Militants seized control of Al-Qaim last month during a major jihadist-led offensive that has overrun swaths of five provinces north and west of Baghdad.

According to the U.N. refugee agency, there are more than 4,500 Syrian refugees in Iraq’s Anbar province, many of them at a camp near Al-Qaim.