Islamic State ‘executed’ nearly 2,000 in Syria since June, including own ranks: monitor

AFP-JIJI

Islamic State group jihadists have murdered nearly 2,000 people in Syria—- half of them from an important Sunni tribe — since announcing their caliphate in June, a monitoring group said Sunday.

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented the execution by the Islamic State of 1,878 people in Syria between June 28 when it announced its ‘caliphate’ and December 27,” the group said in a statement.

The Observatory, which relies on a network of activist and medical sources on the ground in Syria, is based in Britain.

It said the victims were shot dead, beheaded or stoned to death in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir Ezzor, Hama, Homs, Hasakeh and Raqqa.

Of those killed, 1,175 were civilians, including four children and eight women.

The dead included 930 members of the Shaitat tribe, which rose up against Islamic State in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor in the summer.

On Dec. 17, the Observatory said a mass grave containing the bodies of 230 Shaitat had been found in the province.

The jihadists also “executed” 502 soldiers and pro-regime militiamen, the monitoring group said.

It said Islamic State also killed around 120 of its own members, mostly for trying to flee to their home countries, and 80 members of the rival Al-Nusra Front, the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria.

Despite giving a breakdown, the Observatory believes the number killed by Islamic State to be far higher, given that many have disappeared and remain unaccounted for.

The jihadist group often records such killings on video and posts footage on the Internet, which experts say is meant to sow fear among civilians and rival groups, as well as to attract new recruits.