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What Happens When Serial Killers Get Control of An Army? — You Get ISIS: ISIS Said To Execute 770 Iraqi Soldiers

ISIS herding prisoners for execution. (Screen capture from YouTube video)
ISIS herding prisoners for execution. (Screen capture from YouTube video)

By Sinan Salaheddin and Sameer N. Yacoub
Militants from the Islamic State group carried out a mass killing of hundreds of Iraqi soldiers captured when the extremists overran a military base north of Baghdad in June, a leading international watchdog said Wednesday.

The incident at Camp Speicher, an air base that previously served as a U.S. military facility, was one of the worst atrocities perpetrated by the Islamic State group as it seized large swaths of northern and western Iraq.

According to Human Rights Watch, new evidence indicates Islamic State fighters killed between 560 and 770 men captured at Camp Speicher, near the city of Tikrit — a figure several times higher than what was initially reported.

"These are horrific and massive abuses, atrocities by the Islamic State, and on a scale that clearly rises to the crimes against humanity," Fred Abrahams, special adviser to group, told journalists in the northern city of Irbil.

The al-Qaida-breakaway claimed in mid-June that it "executed" about 1,700 soldiers and military personnel from Camp Speicher.

The group also posted graphic photos that appeared to show its gunmen massacring scores of Iraqi soldiers after loading the captives onto flatbed trucks and then forcing them to lie face-down in a shallow ditch, their arms tied behind their backs.

After the incident, the soldiers were listed as missing, prompting their families to stage demonstrations in Baghdad in an effort to pressure authorities for word on their sons' fate. On Tuesday, dozens of angry family members stormed into the parliament in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone after scuffling with security guards. They forced the speaker to call a session Wednesday on the missing soldiers.

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