On Wednesday, the human rights group The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights said that Islamic State Militants slaughtered 33 young men with “sharp tools” before dumping their bodies into a mass grave “filled with blood.” The human rights group said the heinous act was “the largest execution operation carried out by [ISIS] in 2017.”
The victims were reportedly men ranging from 18 to 25 years old. The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights reported that the victims’ necks were covered in “marks of slaughter.” They added that the militants dug a large hole and carried out the murder at the edge of it. After the killings, the bodies were dumped into the mass grave hole that was “filled with blood.”
The execution operation was held near the town of Mayadeen in Deir el-Zour province. Their identities were not immediately known and it was not clear whether or not they were civilians or captured soldiers.
“It is not known whether they were members of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them or if they were fighters of the factions, or, whether they were prisoners who were sentenced to be ‘executed’ by the organization after arresting them earlier,” the group said.
On the same day, ISIS in Iraq reportedly killed at least 22 people and injured another 31 in the city of Tikrit. ISIS militants opened fire on police and civilians before blowing themselves up, CNN reported.
The largest execution operation of 2017 also comes during the same week as a chemical gas attack in Syria that killed over 100 people and injured hundreds more, including babies and very young children.