Islamic State mass killings now target Iraqi tribe
Baghdad: Islamic State group militants publicly shot dead 36 Sunni tribesmen, women and children Monday, an Iraqi official and a tribal leader said, pushing the total number of people the extremists have killed from the tribe in recent days to more than 200.
Sheik Naim al-Gaoud, a senior figure in the Al Bu Nimr tribe, said the militant group killed 29 men, four women and three children, lining them up in in the village of Ras al-Maa, north of Ramadi. He said the extremists shot each of them dead one by one. The tribal leader warned that 120 families are still trapped there.
“These massacres will be repeated in the coming days unless the government and its security forces help the trapped people,” al-Gaoud said.
An official with the Anbar governor's office corroborated the account of Monday's killings. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to brief journalists.
The killings, all committed in public, raise the death toll suffered by the Sunni Al Bu Nimr tribe in recent days to at least 214 people killed, suggesting the Sunni fighters of the Islamic State group now view them as a threat.
Some Sunnis in Anbar province supported the militants when they seized Fallujah and parts of Ramadi in December. That came after widespread Sunnis protests against the Shiite-led government in Baghdad for what they described as second-class treatment.
Since the Islamic State group's major offensive in Iraq, a number of Iraq's Sunni tribes have been fundamental in stalling its advance, taking up arms and fighting alongside Iraqi security forces.
A U.S.-led campaign of airstrikes is targeting the group as well, with nine strikes hitting its fighters Sunday and Monday in Beiji, Fallujah and Ar Rutbah, U.S. Central Command said.