#AceWorldNews – IRAQ (Tikrit) – June 28 – Human Rights Watch (HRW) says militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have executed Iraqi soldiers en masse this month.
The Takfiri militants in mid-June uploaded photos of what they claimed to be the bodies of dozens of Iraqi security forces whom they had executed in the city of Tikrit.
The HRW said in a Thursday statement that the analysis of the photographs and satellite imagery strongly indicates that the militant group “conducted mass executions in Tikrit after seizing control of the city on June 11, 2014.”
The human rights organization said the death toll was between 160 and 190 people in at least two locations between June 11 and June 14. The ISIL had claimed to have killed 1,700 soldiers in Tikrit.
The HRW further said that the number of the victims could be much higher than the bodies it found, with its emergencies director Peter Bouckaert noting, “The photos and satellite images from Tikrit provide strong evidence of a horrible war crime that needs further investigation.”
The organization has located two of the trenches filled with bodies through cross-checking against ground features and landmarks in the photographs posted online by the ISIL terrorists. A third trench could not be located.
“Murder, when systematic or widespread and committed as part of a deliberate policy of an organized group, can be a crime against humanity,” the HRW stressed.
(Baghdad) – Analysis of photographs and satellite imagery strongly indicates that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) conducted mass executions in Tikrit after seizing control of the city on June 11, 2014.
The analysis suggests that ISIS killed between 160 and 190 men in at least two locations between June 11 and 14.
The number of victims may well be much higher, but the difficulty of locating bodies and accessing the area has prevented a full investigation, Human Rights Watch said.
#AceWorldNews – IRAQ (Baghdad) – June 27 – The Iraq crisis escalated Friday a U.S. official confirmed to CNN that armed American drones started flying over Baghdad in the previous 24 hours to provide additional protection for 180 U.S. military advisers in the area.
Until now, U.S. officials had said all drone reconnaissance flights over Iraq were unarmed.
Using the drones for any offensive strikes against insurgent Islamic State in Iraq and Syria fighters would continue to require approval from U.S. President Barack Obama.
The news came on the same day that Human Rights Watch said two mass graves believed to contain the bodies of Iraqi soldiers, police and civilians killed by the Sunni ISIS fighters and their militant allies have been discovered in Saddam Hussein’s home-town of Tikrit.
Claims of atrocities by both sides have increased as the conflict widens in Iraq.