Baghdad: Islamic State (IS) militants on Monday executed 32 security personnel in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, a provincial security source said. The 32 young men were shot dead in the morning in Jubba area, just near the town of al-Baghdadi, some 200 km northwest of Iraq’s capital Baghdad, the source told Xinhua news agency on condition of anonymity.
Those executed were believed to be local policemen and members of the government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group. They were captured in a battle with IS militants in Jubba, the source said. Last month, the IS executed dozens of people, after major attacks on al-Baghdadi and the nearby air base of Ain al-Asad where hundreds of US marines are housed.
The IS terrorist group has seized around 80 percent of Iraq’s largest province of Anbar and tried to advance toward Baghdad, but several counter-attacks by security forces and Shia militias have pushed them back. Since December last year, insurgent attacks have continued in the Sunni Arab heartland west of Baghdad which stretches through the Anbar province.
The province has been the scene of fierce clashes since Iraqi police disbanded an anti-government protest outside Ramadi city. The security situation in Iraq started deteriorating drastically since early June last year when bloody clashes broke out between security forces and the IS. The extremist group has controlled the country’s northern province of Nineveh and seized swathes of territories after Iraqi security forces abandoned their posts in other predominantly Sunni provinces.