(Zaman Al Wasl)- A new amateur video circulated online shows the mutilation of unarmed man before being slaughtered, few days since Shiite militia fighters executed a young boy in the Sunni Iraqi city of Tikrit.
The graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet purporting to show Iraqi forces and Shi'ite militia slaughtering a sunny farmer near Tikrit.
The brutal killing already has gotten the attention of Islamic State followers on social media. It threatens to worsen a sectarian divide that already has enabled IS to spread across large swaths of Iraq, IBTimes reported.
Tikrit has been in a state of sectarian conflict for years and the rise of the group also known as ISIS and the Iran-backed Shiite militias now threatens to pull the rest of the country into sectarian chaos. Last week, Iranian-backed Shiite militias joined the U.S.-backed Iraqi Armed Forces in one of the largest offensives to push back the ISIS militants from Tikrit, a largely Sunni city and Saddam Hussein’s hometown, according to IBTimes.
The Iran-backed Shiite “Popular Mobilization” forces have been fighting Sunnis -- not just ISIS -- in Sunni-dominated areas for months, claiming to seek revenge for ISIS attacks on Shiites and decades of persecution under Hussein's brutal Baathist regime. Since June, Shiite militias have reportedly abducted and executed hundreds of Sunni Iraqis, whom they accuse of being ISIS members.
Many of the larger Shiite militias have their own social media pages and a website to publish brutal footage and photos of their operations. A quick scan of their pages shows many of the same brutal acts that have been committed by ISIS.
On the frontlines of the operation was Asaib Ahl al-Haq, the League of the Righteous, one of the strongest Shiite militias in Iraq today. The militia’s leader, Qays al-Khazali, was seen with the leader of Iran’s Quds Force, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, on the frontlines. The men were joined by the leader of Kataib Hezbollah, a group with ideological ties to Hezbollah in Lebanon that was added to the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Designation list in 2009.
Larger brigades can have tens of thousands of fighters, mostly made up of Shiite Iraqi combatants who have been trained in Syria, Lebanon and even Iran. Their combined forces now range between 100,000 and 250,000, according to the Washington Post. (With IBTimes)