Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) The Islamic State executed one of its leading commanders in western Mosul for unknown reasons, a local source said Thursday as reports increase regarding rifts within the group’s ranks.
“Daesh (Islamic State) have executed their emir of Zangili, west of Mosul, after storming his residence, dragging him out to a public square and shooting him dead,” the source told Alsumaria News, claiming that the the execution was carried out as per directives by the group’s supreme commander, Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“Dash blocked the entrances to Zangili to search for the three sons of the executed Emir,” said the source, who requested anonymity. He said the executions highlight the growing division within the group.
IS still maintains several strongholds in western Mosul, close to its Syria hideouts. Iraqi government forces are struggling to clear the east of the city as soon as possible to move westwards.
Local sources had said earlier this month that divisions grew among IS fighters as Baghdadi excluded Iraqi fighters from commanding the current battles with Iraqi government and popular forces, instead assigning foreign fighters to the lead.
Tensions flared further on Wednesday when the son of a senior commander was assassinated in Tal Afar, IS’s outstanding western Mosul’s stronghold, with local fighters within the group suspected to be behind the killing.