An insight into the nature of the beast: over 400 of those killed by ISIS since June are reportedly their own forces – executed for ‘spying’. And over 2000 – a clear majority in other words – are allegecly civilians.

In addition, according to the UK based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, during the same period ISIS killed 930 members of a clan in the northeastern Deir al-Zor province of Syria, apparently in retaliation for showing opposition to their forces. Furthermore, over the past few months over 240 ISIS executions of rival rebels and Kurdish fighters, as well as 975 members of Syrian regime forces, have been documented.

I do not support UK or other Western air strikes on Syria. At the same time, it is crucial that we have no illusions about the pathologically destructive and violent nature – as well as the continuing murderous actions – of the forces that continue to terrorize large swathes of Syria and Iraq.


ISIS executes 3,500 in Syria since declaring ‘caliphate:’ activists

Agence France Presse, 30 Nov. 2015

BEIRUT: ISIS has executed more than 3,500 people in Syria, including nearly 2,000 civilians, since declaring its “caliphate” in June last year, activists said Sunday.

In the last month alone ISIS executed 53 people – including 35 civilians – in areas it controls in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The new figures from the Britain-based Observatory bring to 3,591 the number of people executed by ISIS in Syria since it declared its Islamic “caliphate” after seizing control of large parts of the country.

The new toll includes 1,945 civilians, including 103 women and 77 children, with civilians defined as those who are not taking part in the fighting.

Some were executed for alleged witchcraft, homosexuality and collaborating with the US-led coalition that has been bombarding ISIS in Syria since September 2014.

Members of Sunni Shaitat tribe account for around half of the civilians killed. ISIS killed 930 members of the clan in the northeastern Deir al-Zor province last year after they opposed the extremist Sunni Muslim group.

The monitor also documented 247 ISIS executions of rival rebels and Kurdish fighters, as well as the executions of 975 members of regime forces.

ISIS has also executed 415 of its own members it accused of crimes including spying, many of them captured as they were trying to desert the group, according to the Observatory, which relies on a network of activists, medical staff and fighters on the ground.

ISIS controls large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq.

In Syria, it controls areas in the Homs and Hama provinces in the center, Deir al-Zor and Hassakeh in the northeast, as well as Raqa and Aleppo in the north.

The jihadist group counts tens of thousands of fighters and carries out abductions, rapes, beheadings and stonings in the areas under its influence.

The United Nations has accused it of “crimes against humanity”.

More than 250,000 people have been killed and more than four million have fled the country since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011.