ISIS fighters abseil from Mosul bridge into heavy traffic
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants have been pictured practicing abseiling down a bridge in the city of Mosul, the group’s largest Iraqi stronghold – while cars and trucks drive casually by.
The pictures, taken near the city center, also show many of the masked militants toting assault rifles.
The military exercises come around the same time that after ISIS militants beheaded eight Syrian rebels who had surrendered in a town on the border with Iraq last week despite pledges of an amnesty, a monitor said Monday.
Days earlier, the group – which controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria – killed over 300 tribesmen, women and children in Iraq’s Anbar province.
The systematic killings, which one tribal leader said were continuing on Sunday, marked some of the worst bloodshed in Iraq since the Sunni militants swept through the north in June with the aim of establishing medieval caliphate there and in Syria.
The Albu Nimr, also Sunni, had put up fierce resistance against ISIS for weeks but finally ran low on ammunition, food and fuel last week as ISIS fighters closed in on their village Zauiyat Albu Nimr.
“The number of people killed by ISIS from Albu Nimr tribe is 322. The bodies of 50 women and children have also been discovered dumped in a well,” the country’s Human Rights Ministry said on Sunday.
One of the leaders of the tribe, Sheikh Naeem al-Ga’oud, told Reuters that he had repeatedly asked the central government and army to provide his men with arms but no action was taken.
State television said on Sunday that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had ordered airstrikes on ISIS targets around the town of Hit in response to the killings.