Tal Afar (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants executed on Wednesday nine of their senior comrades West of Mosul on the backdrop of defeats to Iraqi government troops and allied militias, an army officer has said.
Cap. Moataz al-Hamadani told BasNews that the nine leaders, of Arab and Western nationalities, were executed at the center of Tal Afar town, a major Islamic State bastion west of Mosul and near the borders with Syria (70 Km west of Mosul).
Hamadani quoted residents from Tal Afar saying that the executions came amid growing divisions and infighting among the group’s members which followed consecutive defeats to Iraqi security forces. He did not give details of the method of execution.
According to the officer, those executed included a Russian, a British and a Turkish, but he did not mention their names or ranks. There was also Abu Othman al-Suri, a Syrian who was the group’s mayor for Tal Afar, and Baisan Atallah, a member of an unidentified Arab nationality who was in charge of the town’s police force.
Iraqi government troops regained control over eastern Mosul in January after three months of fighting. Operations for the western side of the city launched in mid February, and Iraqi generals say a few hundreds of IS fighters remain in the Old City as a last refuge, with troops in control over more than 90 percent of territory.
Popular Mobilization Units, the paramilitary force fighting IS alongside government troops, have been clearing areas around Tal Afar since the launch of operations in October, putting the town under siege and isolating it from the Syrian borders.