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IS in Syria ‘executes’ 19 civilians

ISIS beheading
Members of the Islamic State group have ‘executed’ 19 civilians including two children in a village held by anti-jihadists in eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday.

“IS fighters entered Jazrat al-Boushams village on Friday evening and executed 19 civilians, including two women and two children, with bullets to the head before torching the corpses,” Rami Abdel Rahman of the Britain-based monitor told AFP.

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“Some were rounded up in the street before being killed, and others were executed at home,” said the head of the Observatory, which gathers its information from a large network of sources across the war-torn country.

He said the jihadists also abducted three members of the US-backed anti-IS Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces alliance (SDF) before withdrawing from the village.Jazrat al-Boushams village is in Deir Ezzor province, which is largely controlled by the jihadists.

It was captured by the SDF when alliance fighters first entered the region earlier this year.

The village is also near the neighbouring province of Raqa, which IS mostly controls.

In November last year, the SDF began an offensive aimed at taking the city of Raqa, IS’s de facto Syrian capital.

Despite being pressed militarily on all sides in Syria, notably by the SDF, the jihadist group retains an ability to carry out murderous attacks.

On Thursday, IS killed more than 50 people in an assault on two government-held villages in central Syria’s Hama province.

A day later, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said President Donald Trump had instructed the Pentagon to “annihilate” IS in Syria in a bid to prevent escaped foreign fighters from returning home.

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