(GRAPHIC IMAGES) ISIL claim to kill hundreds of Iraqi soldiers, release 'execution' video
Monday, June 16, 2014 - 02:19
(WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT) June 16 - The ISIL Sunni insurgents in Iraq claim to have killed scores of government forces during their stunning advance to take control of northern Iraq and release video that purports to be one such killing. Mana Rabiee reports.
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This video purports to be the last moments these men will ever know.
It was posted Monday and Reuters can't verify it.
It's supposed to be somewhere in Iraq.
That's where ISIL Sunni militants are battling the Shiite-led government for territory in the north, to set up a Sunni caliphate at the Iraq-Syria border.
In the video, the men's captors want them to chat "The Islamic state is lasting."
"Just give us water, please," says a man.
"No, no" the captor says. "The Islamic state is..? he asks.
"Lasting," the men reply obediently.
Later, one of them appears to have been killed.
An I.D. card is put on display.
"God is great", the fighter says. "I killed a Shiite".
In just one week, well-organized Sunni militants have seized the north of the country.
They claim to have killed hundreds of soldiers.
Their stunning advance threatens to dismember Iraq and unleash all-out sectarian war, with no regard for national borders.
Incredibly, life in Baghdad has moved on as normal.
(SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) BAGHDAD RESIDENT, HISHAM AL-HAMADANI, SAYING:
"The security situation in Baghdad is good, but people are watching the situation cautiously."
(SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) BAGHDAD RESIDENT, SAHIB ABU ABDULLAH, SAYING:
"People are worried and confused, but there is nothing happening, God willing."
The influential Shiite Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has told his faithful they'll get directions in the coming days on what to do.
He suggested "peace regiments" to defend holy sites.
Video released by the defense ministry shows air strikes targeting militant strongholds.
Their break neck approach towards Baghdad just a few days ago has slowed down.
So they're moving to tighten their grip on the north.
The U.S. says it's considering working with Iran, a mostly Shiite nation, to support the Iraqi government, their mutual ally.
Joint action between the U.S. and Iran would be unprecedented since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.
It's a sign of how urgent the alarm really is as the insurgents advance.
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