The footage shows the broad daylight executions of at least two Islamic State militants, one of whom tries desperately to get away from his captors.
The tide has turned against the odious entity known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). So it seems.
From an Iraq-bound suicide bomber accidentally killing 12 comrades, one half of its so-called caliphate fallen, militants driven from its de facto Iraqi capital of Mosul, US-backed forces making gains on their last stronghold of Raqqa in Syria, to rumors of their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi being killed, there is no doubt that ISIS is facing several military and ideological setbacks.
To add to their woes, soldiers have begun taking revenge by executing the ISIS militants using the method reminiscent of one employed by the Islamic State.
Graphic video posted online this week purportedly shows a group of Iraqi soldiers giving ISIS militants a taste of their own medicine — tossing them off a cliff and pumping their bodies full of bullets as soon as they hit the ground.
Iraqi government is reportedly investigating the graphic video that appears to show several rifle-wielding Iraqi troops throwing a pleading ISIS militant off a cliff before shooting him multiple times.
GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Executing the ISIS way, a video allegedly shows ISF executing IS fighters, throwing them, then shooting in Mosul. pic.twitter.com/PkgX5klXy0
— Mosul Eye عين الموصل (@MosulEye) July 12, 2017
The BBC, Iraq’s interior ministry, and several media outlets are unable to verify the authenticity of the video or confirm when or where it was filmed, but Human Rights Watch claims it has verified the location with satellite imagery. Belkis Wille, senior Iraq researcher at Human Rights Watch, told the BBC:
“In the final weeks of the battle for west Mosul, the pervasive attitude that I have observed among armed forces has been of momentum, the desire to get the battle wrapped up as quickly as possible, and a collapse of adherences to the laws of war.
“Numerous witnesses had reported not only a significant increase in the torture and extrajudicial killing of ISIS suspects by armed forces, but also a feeling among personnel that they no longer needed to conceal such actions. These reports have been met with congratulations from Baghdad on the victory, only further fostering the feeling of impunity among armed forces in Mosul.”
An Iraqi interior ministry spokesman said that if the disturbing video, reportedly filmed in recently-liberated Mosul, was genuine, then the soldiers involved will be brought to justice.
The video of the ISIS militant being thrown from the cliff comes just days after a US-backed coalition of Iraqi forces announced it had freed Mosul, the city in which ISIS proclaimed its caliphate in 2014.