ISIS photographs detail execution of Iraqi soldiers

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham’s administrative division in Salahaddin proudly displayed photographs of the capture and execution of Iraqi soldiers after it took over a base in the province.

The graphic photographs were released today on the Twitter account belonging to Wilayat Salahaddin, or Salahaddin Division. The ISIS has divided its “state” in Iraq and Syria into 16 administrative units, or wilayats.

The stream of photographs begins by showing ISIS fighters in dirt-caked pickup trucks with machine guns mounted in the beds traveling to Tasfirat prison in the city of Tikrit, and then launching an assault with dismounted troops. Tikrit fell to the ISIS earlier this week.

After capturing the base, the ISIS takes photographs of dozens of US-supplied armored Humvees, Ford and Chevy pickup trucks, and various military transport and supply vehicles that were left behind.

ISIS fighters are then photographed posing over the bloodied and mutilated corpses of the slain soldiers. The ISIS photos show the capture, transport, and execution of scores of Iraqi soldiers. Most of the soldiers are in civilian clothes, but some are seen wearing civilian clothes over their uniforms.

Iraqi soldiers had reportedly shed their uniforms and deserted en masse as the ISIS blitzkrieg advanced from Mosul to Tikrit and on to the outskirts of Samarra in the course of one week. At least four Iraqi Army divisions are said to have melted away during the ISIS onslaught.

In the photos, the Iraqi soldiers are rounded up at gunpoint and placed on flatbed trucks, some of which appear to have been captured from the base. Some of the ISIS fighters are seen holding US-made M-16 assault rifles, which had been issued to the Iraqi Army and police forces.

The ISIS fighters then order the frightened soldiers to lie face down in shallow ditches, with their hands behind their backs. ISIS fighters then open fire on the unarmed prisoners of war.

The ISIS is said to have executed thousands of Iraqi soldiers during its southward advance to Baghdad. Several Iraqi military bases are believed to have been overrun. Forward Operating Base Speicher, which once was a major US military hub in Salahaddin province, was reportedly seized by the ISIS during its southward push.

Over the past week, the ISIS took control of Ninewa and most of Salahaddin province, as well as parts of Diyala province. Most of Anbar province fell under ISIS control in January.

WARNING: Many of the images below are graphic and show the execution of Iraqi soldiers. The intent of publishing these photographs is to document the war crimes committed by the ISIS. The images are a selection of more than 60 published by the ISIS’ Salahaddin Division. You can view the all of the photographs here.

ISIS fighters move in a convoy in Salahaddin province:


ISIS fighters open fire from a pickup truck as dismounted troops assault a base:


ISIS fighters travel in a captured Iraqi police pickup truck:


A captured American-made Iraqi Army Humvee:


Two ISIS fighters pose with captured military vehicles:


Two ISIS fighters pose over the body of a dead Iraqi soldier:


Iraqi soldiers are herded to a truck to be transported to their execution:


Iraqi soldiers are transported to the execution site:


ISIS fighter opens fire on Iraqi prisoners as they lie in a shallow ditch:


An ISIS fighter holds a US M-16 rifle as captured Iraqi soldiers lie face down on the ground:


An Iraqi soldier wore civilian clothes over his uniform in an attempt to disguise himself:


ISIS fighters form a line and execute the captured Iraqi soldiers:


Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Alex says:

    I know it’s easy to talk tough behind the comfort of a keyboard, but I don’t know why anyone would want to be captured alive by these guys. It just seems like whatever these nutcases have in store for you is far, far worse than getting shot on a battlefield.
    I think the question is, does this galvanize Iraqi will like the Malmedy Massacre executions of American troops at the Battle of the Bulge did, or does it encourage them to abandon their posts further?

  • Jeff Logan says:

    Thanks for the photos Bill. This is trademark ISIS brutality. The capture of US weapons and vehicles would certainly boost their firepower.

  • donowen says:

    Hopefully, these are being shown on Iraqi TV and in the White House. Iraqiis have nothing to lose fighting- ILIS with murder 10-15% of the male population anyway. These animals need to be terminated- easy job- their the only guys in pickup trucks and American equipment between Mosul and Baghdad.
    Five days of selected targeting- the Shiite swarms will do the rest.

  • donowen says:

    It’s becoming clear in reading about this ISIS advance they not only knew the military would not fight in Mosul but that we would not supply any airpower for weeks. This inside info from Iraqi Sunnis spys and traitors makes the situation more explainable. It also indicates ISIS has a very limited time window to achieve their goals before the giant awakes. Without taking care of the Kurds- a flaking move could prevent their controlled withdrawal and they will be in the trenches dead rather than the shiites. The sunni treason if confirmed will only harden the shiites will to prevent their participation in government.

  • Devendra Sood says:

    These are worse than animals. We have no business getting involved in their business. Let them kill each other. Should they ever attack us in the USA; make sure they know that they will be NUKED. That is the only thing they understand. otherwise, stay out.

  • Demetrius M says:

    Soon ISIS, those in the ditch will be yourselves.
    On a side note, is it just me that thinks that the 5th photograph entitled “Two ISIS fighters pose with captured military vehicles” looks Photoshopped? Can’t think of a reason why it would be because other similar images appear fine.

  • Enrique says:

    Jesus Christ! this is just plain barbaric. did these guys think of the backslash this could have .

  • Alex says:

    Interesting news from Ninevah:
    Granted it’s Al-Shorfa, but still. Relevant quotes below this line:
    Mosul Jurisprudence Society deputy head Sheikh Abdul Kareem Shaaban told Mawtani the jurisprudence society, the clerics and the Fatwa Council are in full agreement about the need to reject the ISIL and rid the city of its presence.
    “The terrorist ISIL attacks are launched under the pretext of establishing justice and Islam, while in fact they are the farthest people from justice and Islam,” he said, adding that they “represent neither our faith nor our Sunni community.”
    In a Wednesday statement, League of Iraqi Scholars and Intellectuals head Khalid al-Mulla called on Iraq’s Sunnis to “deal with the ISIL as an enemy which must be beaten back by all available means”.
    The unified position of the clerics and preachers on the ISIL is an important step towards achieving victory against this group, he said, which cannot represent the Sunnis in any form.

  • Samuel H says:

    @Demetrius M, if you go to the original source-reporting of the photographs in the article, you will see there are more than a few of the pictures indicate photoshopping, sometimes in a cryptic North Korean-style. Most often, the presence of the black shaheda flag appears to have been inserted post-production, but there are faces inserted into group shots, whole bodies occasionally and other more obvious tampering (a hole cut through someone’s body riding on a technical for no apparent reason). I would say that by manipulating the images, ISIS hopes for a more impactful statement and wants to leave no-one to hesitate that it is them that are in a powerful position and calling the shots.

  • James says:

    So now, the ‘Killing Fields’ (at least in Iraq) have begun.
    These thugs need to be outright eliminated. We don’t need to just ‘capture’ these thugs (for supposed ‘intel’ value).
    There will be no ‘escape’ or ‘early release’ from the grave. That is where these thugs need to be put.
    These thugs are war criminals of the lowest sort.
    It appalls me that Twitter Inc., and Facebook would allow their servers to be used and abused to promote war crimes and international terrorism.
    These thugs are lower than the Nazis and the holocaust could have ever been.

  • gitsum says:

    Everyone is to stupid to be galvinized like Malmady to any effectiveness at least. Let ’em blow each oth to bits, who cares; not me!

  • Terrapin says:

    I wasn’t too enthusiastic about bombing ISIS. Pictures like these make me hope the U.S. Navy soon starts dropping JDAMs down their throats. I thought Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was smarter than this, but to judge from this atrocity and earlier prisoner executions in Syria, he doesn’t fall too far from the Zarqawi tree. ISIS is as cruel as an armed force gets. No wonder they got drummed out of Al Qaeda.
    BTW, for those fretting about the U.S. equipment being used by ISIS. The way they’ll abuse it, it will break down soon enough and then become so much junk due to the absence of spare parts.

  • Michael Nunn says:

    Most Westerners think “jihad” is about Islam warring against “infidels,” i.e., non-muslims. Not in this case. These jihadists are of the same Baathist ilk Saddam Hussein was (Sunni extremists) and they are hell-bent on exterminating Shi’ites. In Christianity it’d be like the Methodists and the Baptists gone all Hatfield and McCoy on each other. In Iraq it is a case of being careful what you wish for. Only a tyrant like Saddam could maintain peace between the Sunni and Shi’ites (the enemy of my enemy is my friend?), and now that we’ve deposed him and allowed a Shi’ite-run government to exclude this dangerous minority, the chickens are coming home to roost. There’s nothing we can do, except maybe kill ’em all and let the Prophet Muhammad sort ’em out.

  • Devils Advocate says:

    Me.. Personaly……
    I would rather end up in a mass grave mowed down by 100 rds…then experience
    Black hooded Extraordinary Rendition and who knows what in transit and Transfer then,tortured for months or yrs, then Gitmo’d with no hope of release and with No Formal charges.
    But that… Is just me!

  • Bill S. says:

    This will probably bring down on my head a firestorm of wrath, but I would caution readers of LWJ to withhold judgement on these photos until we find out whether they are real or not. We need to find the actual bodies and actual proof. How many times have you been told not to believe what you see on the Internet? There’s a lot of explanations possible why these may be faked or photoshopped. I think I am not the only person mentioning this, as I see there have been other questions raised about portions of the photos being photoshopped. Atrocity photos like this have been manipulated by both sides since war photography began and we should be very cautious about accepting them as definitive truth.

  • Minnor says:

    Better to leave oilless sunni areas of iraq to themselves. It will be another poor area like afganistan which is easier to establish local govt. Better to withdraw from Ramadi. Shias are much more moderate than sunnis like osama, even kurdis. USA should bomb terrorist convoys in iraq using manned aircraft and send drones to syria, outside urban areas.

  • mark says:

    Given all commentary across multiply mass media blogs following news coverage, there has not been one signal post that I’ve read that meantions the cynical nature of the ISIS methods. The ISIS know they can’t hold and consolidate their positions, so their only goal must be to pour gas and light a match to start a sunni and shiite bloodbath. Not that there is not aready plently of hatred to go around, just that this is the latest round on the intra islamic front.
    Not sure what the general game plan is but I suspect the answer is best analyized by asking which group gains the long term advantage, ie Would a Shiite cleric lose sleep knowing even if ten thousand Iraqis would die as a result of a weak responce to gathering intel that suggest ISIS forces are on the move if the result is a pretext for Iran to insert inself more openly into Iraq, much like Assad did in Lebanon in the 80’s.
    The Western media needs to stop with the inane analysis BS that shows we neither have understanding nor have any clarity to the forces roiling through out middle east.
    If we truely care, lets call it for what it is and put both, sunni and shiite ideology on notice, we neither care nor support islmo-genocide, you all had your chance, now is the time put drones in the sky and put it on pay per view and make money off their death, match their cynism with indifference and see how long it last without Islamic nutjobs able to tie policy makers panties in a tisy by pulling on the 24/7 news cycle.
    My bet is once the powers to be in Islamic world no longer get to advance a free fifth column weapon on the rest of us, they will soon bleed out, cause you have to have been living under rock to fail to see the common thread to islamic history has been to play the outside world against itself in order to advance both its genocidal intra-faith control over the religion and its often stated dogma of, “Make the world safe for Islam” to coin a phrase.

  • mark says:

    Terrapin would agree with you up a point, al-Baghdadi aka the ISIS, wasn’t drummed out of al Qaeda. And, as if often the case with intel analysis, I for one have two opposing takes on the window of analysis of the exchange of differences rhetorically discussed between the jordanian held al qaeda cleric and ISIS command.
    1. The reason alQaeda was seeking to rein the ISIS, may have been the long term identification of ISIS operational direction would result with the the long term affect of Iran gain more than just an ideological link to Assad in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon, but an actual continious land connection to Syria and Hezbollah, ie actual Iranian hegmony over Iraq.
    2. As much as western military intell would like to dismiss this contention, al qaeda is quite democratic, so if al qaeda wanted talking points to advance ISIS gambit to restle control of western iraq, then in my opinion, this dispute between al qaeda and ISIS served as a smoke screen for intra rank and file discussion within ISIS to counter refute alQaeda sole operational perveiw and get themselves motived to undertake a gambit to take over most of western iraq.

  • Delta Mike 67 says:

    We have the fruits of Obama’s “Ending the war responsibly”….Defeat by any name…
    As an old gunship guy, I can only salivate at these columns of targets in open pickup trucks. A little 20mm shredding would soothe my soul.

  • lati watcher says:

    Sometimes, money just isn’t the answer

  • Fred Beloit says:

    It is critical to keep in mind for the future that these murderers are not protected by the international rules of war because they obey no rules of war. The disgusting NYT calls these rats “militants.”

  • Magnus Helin says:

    No quarter for ISIL, I hope each and everyone of them will be destroyed. Do a “Djingis Khan” on them.

  • Jack says:

    The answer to this equation boils down to just two words, which speaks for itself the, ‘Yinon Plan’.

  • richardpk says:

    You can’t help but get excited that Muslims are killing each other in the name of religion.


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