Islamic State (Da’esh / ISIS) terrorist forces executed hundreds of civilians Friday in the city of Mosul as tens of thousands of Iraqi and Peshmerga military and coalition forces closed in.
The terrorists murdered 284 men and boys, an Iraqi intelligence source told CNN, after having rounded them up from villages in and around the Mosul area to be used as human shields.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said, “There is a grave danger that [ISIS] fighters will not only use … people as human shields but may opt to kill them rather than see them liberated.” He added that any of the terrorists who were captured or who surrendered “should be held accountable in accordance with the law for any crimes they have committed.”
And in fact, in a move echoing one of the most grotesque by the Nazis during the Holocaust, ISIS operatives used a bulldozer to dump the dead bodies in a mass grave at the scene of the executions, the defunct Mosul College of Agriculture in the northern section of the city, according to the source quoted by CNN.
All of the victims were shot, including children, said the source who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with media. CNN could not independently confirm the claim.
Knowing their days were numbered, the ISIS terrorists blew up the Mishraq sulfur plant in the city on Wednesday, killing two people with the toxic white smoke, and injuring numerous others. At least 500 people arrived at the Qayyarah Health Center complaining of problems with their breathing.
The terrorist group also ignited the oil wells, sending thick black smoke boiling up into the sky. Doctors treated their patients with oxygen but were forced to send at least eight to Makhmur hospital, they told the AFP news agency.
At least 50 ISIS terrorists were killed and dozens of others were wounded in a separate terrorist assault on the northern city of Kirkuk — launched as a diversion from Mosul — which ended Saturday after 36 hours of heavy clashes.
All of the ISIS attackers were killed or blew themselves up, according to Kirkuk police Brig.-Gen. Khattab Omer. But 13 workers at a power plant north of the city were killed, in addition to a local TV reporter.
Iraqi security forces and Peshmerga Kurdish fighters also surrounded and isolated the town of Hamdaniya, 12 miles southeast of Mosul, according to a U.S. military official in Baghdad.
U.S. and coalition aircraft were providing air support during the battles in Kirkuk and around Mosul on Saturday. In Kirkuk, 175 kilometers (109 miles) southeast of Mosul, Peshperga forces went house to house in mop-up operations.