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Islamic State Using Public Executions to Instill Sense of Terror in Syria – UN Report

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The Islamic State (IS) is perpetrating massacres and war crimes in Syria, using public executions to instill terror amongst the population, according to a new report published by the United Nations Wednesday.

MOSCOW, August 27 (RIA Novosti) - The Islamic State (IS) is perpetrating massacres and war crimes in Syria, using public executions to instill terror amongst the population, according to a new report published by the United Nations Wednesday.

“Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) [another name used for the IS] committed torture, murder, acts tantamount to enforced disappearance and forcible displacement as part of an attack on the civilian population in Aleppo and Ar Raqqah governorates,” the report says.

The 45-page document states that the impact of the war is no longer confined to Syria and poses a threat to international peace and security. A “spillover of violence” has created a risk of the conflict spreading further.

Public executions have become a “common spectacle” in regions controlled by the Sunni jihadist group. According to the UN, passers-by, including children, are sometimes forced to watch as victims, usually accused of being affiliated with other armed groups, are beheaded or shot, according to the report.

The report also presents several instances of minors being executed by the jihadist group. In one of the cases, seven people, five of whom were under the age of 18, were publicly executed. Three of the bodies were put on display following the execution.

According to the UN, the Islamic State has systematically targeted medical and religious personnel and journalists, violating international humanitarian law.

“Far better organized and financed, owing to the seizure of considerable resources and military equipment in Iraq, the group has consolidated control over large areas in northern and eastern governorates, in particular oil-rich Dayr az Zawr,” the report says.

The group has been able to attract “more experienced and ideologically motivated foreign fighters” since it declared itself an Islamic caliphate.

The Islamic State (IS), also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a Sunni jihadist group, which, until recently had been fighting in Syria, but expanded its attacks to the northern and western regions of Iraq in the beginning of June. The group announced the creation of an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria on June 29.

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