A few days before the Islamic State militants formed a caliphate in Iraq, the militant group committedwhat has been called the deadliest sectarian atrocity in the recent history of the war-torn country.
One man who was lucky enough to escape the mass execution recently spoke to The New York Times and described what horrors the ISIS is capable of.
The Speicher Massacre was a genocide attack committed by the ISIS against Shi’ite military recruits at Camp Speicher in Tikrit Province, in June.
ISIS forces took over the city and killed and beheaded around 1,700 unarmed Iraqi Air force cadets (students) at the province's air base located 80 kilometers north of Baghdad.
Ali Hussein Kadhim, a ShiiteIraqi army volunteer, was one of those who were captured.
“They told us, ‘Don’t worry, we will take you to Baghdad.’ They tried to make us feel safe,” he told the Times.
After they were packed in trucks, they were taken to a place in Tikrit where they were divided based on the sect of Islam that they belonged to.
While those belonging to the Sunni sect (which ISIS claims to belong to) were given a chance to ask for forgiveness and “repent,” those from the Shi’ite sect were not so lucky. They were lined up and told to “march to their deaths.”
Kadhim was fourth in line for execution. A bullet buzzed past his head. Since his face was already splattered with the blood of the person shot next to him, he feigned death.
"I thought it was the end," he stated. "There was nothing more to fear. But then I remembered my family. ... Who will care for them?"
And that’s how he strived to get out of it.
“The suspected scale of the massacre — ISIS claimed it killed 1,700 Shiite soldiers, a figure that some Iraqi officials and Mr. Kadhim believe is accurate — would make it the deadliest sectarian atrocity in Iraq’s recent history, more reminiscent of the mass killings carried out by Mr. Hussein’s government than anything the country faced during the sectarian civil war in 2006 and 2007,” the Times stated.
Listen to Khadim’sgut-wrenching story in the Times video above.
ISIS, in a matter of few months, has expanded to such a level that it has been declared as “the greatest threat to the national security of the United States” since the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001.
Their insurgency in Iraq in combination with their social media tactics to recruit new members and intimidate enemies isprompting renewed national security concerns in Western countries – especially in the U.S. and Britain.
In its latest effort to counter ISIS propaganda tactics online, the State Department released a mock-recruitment video to send a strong message to potential American citizens thinking of joining the group to change their minds.WARNING: It’s pretty graphic so view it (below) at your own risk.
This just demonstrates how severe the threat for national security.