Iraq to hang 27 Isis members over role in massacre of army recruits

Iraq - Up to 1,700 unarmed young men died in the attack on Camp Speicher after Isis swept into Iraq from neighbouring Syria in June 2014.

A court in Iraq has sentenced 27 Isis soldiers to death by hanging over their role in a massacre of up to 1,700 army recruits in 2014.

One of Isis’ earliest gruesome propaganda videos was of the execution-style killings at Camp Speicher in northern Iraq when the organisation launched its surprise offensive over the border from Syria in June that year.

There were between 4,000 and 11,000 cadets stationed at the base near Tikrit when Isis overran it. Isis divided up their captives depending on whether they were Shia, Sunni or non-Muslim, and murdered an estimated 1,095 non-Sunni soldiers, a later inquiry by Iraq’s Human Rights Ministry estimated. The true number of men still missing is not known, but estimates suggest it could be up to 1,700 people. 

The victims were trucked to various locations, including a former palace of Saddam Hussein, lined up and shot at point black range, beheaded, or choked to death.

Some bodies were disposed of in the Tigris River, and at least 12 mass graves were discovered when Iraqi coalition forces managed to retake the city and surrounding area in 2015.

As well as this week’s sentencing, 36 Isis members were hanged in August 2016 after being found guilty of the same crime in a mass trial. Another 25 suspects have been released due to a lack of evidence. 

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