As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has seized towns and cities in Iraq, it has also boasted its vengeful treatment of its opponents, such as earlier this month massacring hundreds of Iraqi government troops by shooting them into ditches with their hands tied behind their backs.
Now an Iraqi survivor of an ISIS rampage is speaking out, telling Britain’s Telegraph newspaper of his harrowing experience when the jihadist fighters trying to establish a regional caliphate stormed into his village and murdered and mutilated his son, brother, nephew and sister-in-law. To survive, Fadl Moussa Hassan escaped his pursuers by crawling for a mile through wheat fields, then hiding in a pile of straw for eight hours.
The ordeal occurred on June 17 when ISIS militants entered his village of Barauchili, a town whose residents are Shiites and members of the Turkmen minority.
According to the survivor’s account, the jihadist fighters arrived shouting “God is Great” (Allahu Akbar), waving black flags and driving in American-made Humvees and armored personnel carriers.
The Telegraph spoke to Fadl, his brother Elias, and other villagers who provided “a clinical description of what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a pickup truck killing party.”
TheBlaze is unable to independently authenticate their accounts, but the Telegraph noted that their stories were confirmed by Iraqi security forces and that the recollections conveyed in separate interviews matched.
When the ISIS fighters arrived, villagers fired on them from rooftops, including a local male teacher who was shot and killed. When people began to flee, the militants shot and killed them, including the teacher’s 86-year-old cousin, Kamal, and his two sons.
The Hassan family tried to flee by foot but straggled behind other villagers, exposing them to the ISIS fighters who were chasing them.
“There were lots of other families, but we were behind them,” Hassan told the Telegraph. As they fled, Hassan had to leave behind his son who had been shot, as were his brother and nephew who tried to take cover in a construction site.
The next day, the villagers went back for the bodies. There were 21 in all, scattered through the streets and in the looted, burning embers of their houses. The bodies of his brother, nephew and two other men in the building site had not just been shot but stabbed in the head and body, on both sides, having been turned over and over as the rampage proceeded.
His brother’s finger had been cut off, to remove his ring.
“I served in the army, in the war against Iran and in Kuwait,” Hassan told the Telegraph. “But I never saw anything like this. Even if you captured a prisoner and killed him, you did it cleanly, with one shot.”
Relatives of the teacher was fatally shot said that they tried to escape to a nearby Sunni village, Albuhassan. There, they asked a family they knew to protect them. When ISIS showed up, the family’s would-be protectors emerged holding a Koran.
“For the sake of this holy book, let these men go,” they said, the Telegraph reported.
There was some haggling, and the man’s wife and daughters were allowed to remain inside. But the dad and his 15-year-old son, Hussein, were dragged outside and shot in front of their hosts.
Hassan described a sense of shock as he recalled that some of his neighbors joined the ISIS fighters during their rampage, including even parents of his children’s classmates.
Read more of the survivors’ stories at the Telegraph.