Islamic State terrorists have burned to death 45 people in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi near an air base where 320 U.S. Marines are stationed, local authorities said Tuesday.
A local police chief, Col. Qasim al-Obeidi, told BBC News
that he believed some of those murdered belonged to security forces.
He said he did not know exactly who those killed were or why they were burned to death. Al-Obeidi's report could not be confirmed, according to the BBC.
ISIS captured much of the town, near the al-Asad air base about 100 miles west of Baghdad, last week.
Al-Obeidi said a compound that housed the families of security personnel and local officials was now under attack by ISIS jihadists.
The police chief turned to the international community for help.
The news comes after ISIS posted a video on social media earlier this month showing the torching of a Jordanian pilot
, Muath al-Kasaesbeh, 26, who was captured after his plane crashed in Iraq on Christmas Eve.
U.S. and Jordanian officials confirmed the death, saying that it occurred Jan. 3.
In response, Jordan executed two jailed Iraqi terrorists, including Sajida al-Rishawi, who was sentenced to death for her role in a 2005 suicide bomb attack that killed 60 people.
The Islamist suicide attack was the worst in Jordan's history.
In addition, ISIS posted another video last week showing terrorists parading 17 caged Kurdish fighters
through the streets of Iraq. The four-minute video showing the prisoners — reportedly Peshmerga forces — clad in orange jumpsuits and shackled inside the cages.
Individual cages holding each prisoner were carried on white pickup trucks, accompanied by an ISIS terrorist waving a black flag and carrying an AK-47 assault rifle, according to the report.
Islamic State terrorists cheered as the prisoners were apparently paraded through the Hawija district near Kirkuk, located in northwest Iraq.
Al-Baghdadi fell to ISIS on Thursday after months of fighting between terrorists and government forces.
On Friday, about 25 Islamic State fighters led by several suicide bombers attacked the Ain al-Asad air base but were repulsed by Iraqi security forces guarding the perimeter who killed most of the assailants, the Pentagon said.
Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters in Washington that U.S. Marines training Iraqi military troops at the sprawling base were about 2 miles (3.5 km) away and were not involved in the fight.
The battle took place at the perimeter of the base and it was not immediately clear whether the attackers were able to penetrate into the facility.
An Iraqi official said last week that ISIS had been cleared from most of al-Baghdadi, with the remaining fighting centred around a police station. But that conflicted with reports from a tribal leader who said the jihadists were still in control of much of the town.
Al-Baghdadi has been besieged for months by Islamic State, which captured swathes of northern and western Iraq last year, prompting a campaign of U.S.-led air strikes and the deployment of hundreds of U.S. military advisers to the country.
About 320 U.S. Marines are training members of the Iraqi 7th Division at the base, which has been struck by mortar fire on at least one previous occasion since December.
Material from Reuters was used in this report.
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