Update: ISIS declared today that they have established a new state from Diyala Province in Iraq to Aleppo, Syria. The group named Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, as its leader. ISIS also renamed itself “The Islamic State.”
ISIS forces have been fighting in the village of Al-Daira, which lies about 30 miles south of Baghdad and is within sight of Iraq’s main highway. Iraqi government forces have been sent there to fight the insurgency.
Fierce clashes also took place near the towns of Jurf al-Sakhar, Mahmoudiyah, and al-Rasheed, just south of Baghdad, between the security forces and Sunni militants, including those who are linked to ISIS.
The provinces south of Baghdad are overwhelmingly inhabited by Shiite Arabs, except in a zone around Al-Daira where residents are mostly Sunni.
Sources also state that unlike northern Iraq, where foreign fighters have fought beside Iraqis, these militants were all from Iraq.
Apparently, both sides are now fighting dirty – including the government forces.
Last week, according to four police officers, counter-terrorism officers in the area emptied a prison of men suspected of working with ISIS. They then proceeded to execute as many as 70 of them.
If the prisoner executions occurred as the officers described, they would qualify as a war crime.
The prison executions were supposedly to avenge executions by ISIS in Takrit earlier this month.
Analysis of satellite images of mass graves back up claims that militants in Iraq massacred at least 160 captives in the northern city of Tikrit, Human Rights Watch has claimed.