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'IS' executes

December 20, 2014

"Islamic State" (IS) has executed 100 of its own foreign fighters for trying to flee from Raqqa, the extremist group’s headquarters in Syria, the Financial Times has reported. Four hundred have reportedly been arrested.

In this undated image posted on Monday, June 30, 2014, by the Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, a Syrian opposition group, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, fighters from the Islamic State group parade in Raqqa, north Syria. AP Photo/Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, File
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo

An activist opposed to IS as well as to the Assad regime in Syria told the British business broadsheet that he has personally “verified 100 executions” of foreign IS fighters trying to leave the Syrian city of Raqqa, which functions as the de facto capital of the jihadist group.

IS is said to have created a military police to bring to order foreign fighters who do not report for duty. Dozens of homes have been raided in the process and hundreds arrested, FT reported on Friday.

Reports have been coming from other sources about the disillusionment of IS foreign fighters with the realities of fighting – both in Syria and Iraq.

Flagging morale

More than anything else, airstrikes of the US-led coalition, which started in August, have been taking their toll on the militants.

Nearly 800 IS fighters have lost their lives in the first two months since the air raids began, the Britain-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported. In Syria, many foreign fighters are incapable of understanding why they are being made to fight against other rebel groups instead of against Assad's forces, the British press reported in October – citing specific cases of five British, three French, two German and two Belgian nationals who wanted to return home.

Apart from the airstrikes, the IS suffered another major setback when Kurdish peshmerga fighters broke the jihadists' five-month siege on Mount Sinjar in Iraq earlier this week. Such developments are believed to be having a devastating effect on the morale of the IS troops – especially those who have come from abroad apparently to do most of the work and the dying, as one activist told FT.

ac/tj (AFP, dpa)

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