Zee Media Bureau
Baghdad: The militant group who captured two major cities in Iraq last week posted explicit photographs of its fighters killing dozens of Iraqi soldiers whom they had captured.
The photos of Iraqi soldiers being massacred appeared on a militants website. It shows masked fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) loading the soldiers onto trucks and then forcing them to lie face-down in a shallow ditch with their arms behind their backs. Then comes the disturbing image of the bodies of the captured soldiers covered in blood after being shot by the ISIL members.
They also said on a micro-blogging site that they had executed more than 15,00 Iraqi soldiers. But, as per reports, the authenticity of the photos could not be verified. It was also reported that the government of Iraq had expressed doubts as whether such a mass killing took place.
At the same time it was said that there were no reports of mass funerals in the Salahuddin province area. This is the area where the killings reportedly took place.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Shiites answering the call from their respected spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani took up arms against the Sunni militants.
The ISIL have said that they will continue their war till Baghdad and also to other cities in the southern region of the country. The militants have covered northern areas of Iraq.
On the other hand US President Barack Obama said yesterday that he would not not sending American soldiers to Iraq, though he did not rule out air strikes. Washington has deployed an aircraft carrier to the Gulf, but Iran has warned against foreign military intervention in its Shiite neighbour, voicing confidence that Baghdad is able to repel the onslaught.
In another development Iraq today said it had "regained the initiative" against militants who seized vast swathes of territory, as former UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi blamed the crisis on global neglect of Syria`s civil war.
However, security forces have generally performed poorly, with some abandoning their vehicles and positions and discarding their uniforms, though they seem to have begun to recover from the initial onslaught and have started to regain ground.
Iraqi commanders have said their forces were now starting to push the militants back, and that soldiers had recaptured two towns north of Baghdad, with a spokesman announcing that Iraqi security personnel had killed 279 "terrorists" in the past 24 hours, AFP reported.
Iraqi officials however often announce large militant tolls, with no way of independent verification, and downplay their own casualties.
With Agency inputs