ISIS fighters who fled to the terror group’s Iraqi stronghold of Mosul after being defeated in Ramadi were burned alive in the town square, sources told FoxNews.com, in an unmistakable message to fighters who may soon be defending the northern city from government forces.
Several residents of Mosul recounted the grisly story for stateside relatives, describing the deadly reception black clad jihadists got when they made it to Mosul, some 250 miles north of the city retaken by Iraqi forces operating with cover from U.S. air power.
“They were grouped together and made to stand in a circle,” a former resident of northern Iraq now living in the U.S. but in touch with family back home told FoxNews.com. “And set on fire to die.”
Several Iraqi-Americans and recent refugees with close relatives in Mosul told of ISIS fighters fresh off defeat in Ramadi being shunned – and executed – for not fighting to the death in Ramadi.
Michael Pregent, a terrorism expert and former intelligence adviser to Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq, said such an act isn’t new for the callous terror group. A similar fate was meted out to fighters who lost Saddam’s hometown to Kurdish forces last year.
“There is no surprise on executing ISIS fighters from Ramadi,” he said. “They did the same to fighters after Tikrit.”
The retaking of Ramadi, the capital of the mainly Sunni-populated Anbar Province which ISIS took over last May, was a major setback for ISIS. Just 80 miles west of Baghdad, the city was overrun by ISIS in June, 2014. Iraqi forces, fighting with Sunni tribes and supported by coalition forces, recently took it back but the city remains in ruins. Booby-traps, landmines and a broken infrastructure have rendered it mostly uninhabitable for the time being.