Islamic State terrorists burned forty-five people to death in the ISIS-held town of Al-Baghdadi, a local police chief told the BBC.
Last week, the Islamic State captured much of the strategically important town, which is located just five miles from Ain al-Asad air base, where 320 U.S. Marines are training Iraqi forces to combat ISIS. “The Iraqi soldiers are undergoing a six-week program of advanced combat training,” Stars And Stripes reports.
It remains unclear what the motive was behind ISIS’s killing of the 45 Iraqi individuals. Colonel Qasim al-Obeidi told the BBC that some may have been members of Iraq’s military. al-Obeidi also said that a building which provides housing for families of security forces is currently under attack. He asked for immediate intervention from the Iraqi government and international community, according to the report.
Al Jazeera reports that the charred remains of 30 burnt bodies have been found in al-Baghdadi.
On Saturday, a local tribal leader warned that the entirety of Iraq’s forces in Anbar province, where al-Baghdadi lies, could “collapse within hours” if tribal leaders withdraw from the fight against ISIS. “In Anbar, we’re losing ground, not gaining,” he told CNN.
Another tribal leader said regarding the situation in al-Baghdadi: ISIS has “deployed snipers on the top of buildings and they are shooting everyone trying to get out.” the tribal leader warned of a “massacre” of al-Baghdadi’s 50,000 citizens should support not arrive.
“The humanitarian situation in the besieged Iraqi township of Baghdadi in Anbar province is severe, with increasing shortages of food and medical supplies,” reported a Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty correspondent from Iraq on Tuesday.
The incident comes in the wake of a video published by ISIS in early February that showed the militants burning alive a Jordanian pilot, who was captured in Syria by the terror group after his plane went down over enemy territory in December.