ISIS claims massacre of Iraqi troops
As President Obama relaxes in the sun in Palm Springs, rubbing elbows with his wealthy cronies, Iraq is turning into a living hell.
The ISIS terrorists gobbled up more territory yesterday, taking a key town just north of Mosul. And they proudly released pics of their execution of Iraqi soldiers - 1700 they say. Others aren't so sure.
What's known is that the ISIS is commiting atrocities and letting on that this is just the beginning.
Even as anecdotal reports of extrajudicial killings around the country seemed to bear out the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s intent to kill Shiites wherever it could, Iraqi officials and some human rights groups cautioned that the militants’ claim to have killed 1,700 soldiers in Tikrit could not be immediately verified.
But with their claim, the Sunni militants were reveling in an atrocity that if confirmed would be the worst yet in the conflicts that roil the region, outstripping even the poison gas attack near Damascus last year.
In an atmosphere where there were already fears that the militants’ sudden advance near the capital would prompt Shiite reprisal attacks against Sunni Arab civilians, the claims by ISIS were potentially explosive. And that is exactly the group’s stated intent: to stoke a return to all-out sectarian warfare that would bolster its attempts to carve out a Sunni Islamist caliphate that crosses borders through the region.
Crazy they may be, there is also value in the appearance of craziness.
The photographs showed what appeared to be seven massacre sites, although several of them may have been different views of the same sites. In any one of the pictures, no more than about 60 victims could be seen and sometimes as few as 20 at each of the sites, although it was not clear if the photographs showed the entire graves.
The militants’ captions seemed tailor-made to ignite anger and fear among Shiites. “The filthy Shiites are killed in the hundreds,” one read. “The liquidation of the Shiites who ran away from their military bases,” read another, and, “This is the destiny of Maliki’s Shiites,” referring to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
Many of the captions mocked the victims. In one photograph, showing a group of young men walking toward an apparent execution site, where armed masked men awaited, the caption read, “Look at them walking to death on their own feet.”
What's the psychological effect of these blood-curdling pronouncements on your average Iraqi soldier? Or civilian in Baghdad? If the intent is to sow fear, confusion, and chaos, they are getting the job done.
And stioking the fires of sectarianism is also in the mix. The Times article points out that so far, the Shias haven't risen to the bait. But eventually, those Shia militias are going to go Sunni hunting. If we thought it was bad back in 2006 when 1,000 Iraqis were being murdered a week, this has the potential of being much worse.
Bombs are going off all over the Iraq capitol, and there are reports of taxi drivers charging $100 to drive frightened Shias out of the city. If the ISIS gets loose, there probably won't be any place safe to hide.