21 August 2019
ISIS has released photographs of what appears to be dozens of men being executed. Photo:
ISIS has released photographs of what appears to be dozens of men being executed. Photo:

The known unknowns of the ISIS ‘massacre’ photos

If the grisly photos are what an extremist group in the Middle East says they are, then they would show one of the biggest atrocities in Iraq in the last decade, according to the BBC.

The photos released by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) appear to show ISIS prisoners being loaded into trucks and then laying face down in a ditch before being shot. 

ISIS claims to have killed 1,700 Iraqi government soldiers, but the claim has not been verified.

The International Business Times said the photos came with a caption saying “hundreds have been liquidated”. The Iraqi government confirmed the pictures are of Iraqi soldiers.

The BBC said the images first appeared on Twitter on Saturday night via accounts associated with ISIS and the captions claimed the pictures were taken in the northern Iraqi province of Salahuddin.

But there are doubts about the authenticity of the pictures, mainly because there is no video footage of the incident, which runs counter to ISIS’s usual practice. There has also been no word from the families of those killed, although they could be too scared to speak out, the BBC said.

ISIS has executed many Iraqi and Syrian soldiers in the past year but this incident is unusual because it appears to show more than 50 men being killed, the broadcaster said.

The Times of London’s deputy editor Elizabeth Orcutt told the International Business Times that the photos were of better quality than the stills usually taken from video footage, adding to the doubts about the images.

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