Qaim (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants have executed five young people in front of their families who had been caught fleeing the group’s havens in western Anbar towards security-held areas.
Alghad Press quoted a local source saying that three families, mostly women, were caught by the militants fleeing the town of Qaim, on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, towards the city of Rutba to the east.
The militants brought the civilians back into Qaim and executed five young people in front of their families, according to the source.
Islamic State militants have systematically executed civilians fleeing areas they had taken over since 2014. Many other civilians were also executed for contacting security forces. Recent reports from Anbar have also said that the militants had forcibly recruited young people to fight for the group.
Islamic State has held the towns of Annah, Rawa and Qaim since 2014, when it proclaimed an Islamic “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria. Recent news reports have said military reinforcements were sent to areas near those towns preparing for an invasion against IS. The Iraqi Joint Operations Command has, meanwhile, declared that its coming battle would be in IS-held Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk. So far, U.S.-backed government forces recaptured Mosul, Islamic State’s former capital, and the town of Tal Afar, a major haven west of Mosul.