The Islamic State terrorist organization burned alive an entire family — a mother and four young children — after it was caught trying to flee from the group's stronghold in the Kirkuk province of Iraq.
As Iraqi-led coalition forces continue in their effort to liberate Mosul (the second largest city in the nation) and gradually push the IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) terrorist organization out of its largest Iraqi stronghold, the heinous militants are doing all they can to ensure that local residents who have become subject to the group's brutal interpretation and enforcement of sharia law do not leave the self-proclaimed "caliphate."
Even in the Kirkuk province, where IS has maintained a grasp on its territory, militants are trying to intimidate locals out of thinking about leaving the territory. According to IraqiNews.com, a security source within the Kirkuk province has detailed the horrifying death that a mother and her four children faced at the hands of IS militants.
The source told the independent Iraqi satellite TV network Alsumaria that IS had burned alive the unnamed mother and her four children in a town southwest of Kirkuk on charges that they tried to abandon the "caliphate."
According to the IraqiNews report, the family was captured by IS militants while walking on a road that links the town of al-Riyad and the Hamrin Mountains.
The source, who chose to remain anonymous, explained that the four children consisted of three girls and a 9-month-old baby boy.
The five victims were burned to death in mid-January in front of a crowd of onlookers in the IS stronghold of Hawija, which lies about 41 miles southwest of Kirkuk and about 110 miles southeast of Mosul.
The militants first tied up the mother and her kids. Then, they poured oil all over their bodies before lighting a flame and setting them a ablaze.
As IS has come up with a number of ways to execute its victims, militants have often utilized the power of fire.
Late last month, it was reported that IS burned alive four men accused of aiding enemy forces in its Syrian stronghold of Mosul. The four men were burned alive in a public execution. But included in the crowd were the parents of the four victims who were forced to watch the flames engulf their sons' flesh.
"The sharia court called for the most brutal punishment for those four men," Ahmed Ramadan, a spokesman for the anti-IS media campaign Deir Ezzor Is Being Slaughtered Silently, told ARA News.
As IS is known for producing many gruesome videos showing the heinous executions of its victims, the last execution video the group released in 2016 showed the execution of two Kurdish troops. The two men were tied up in chains and left to die in agony as IS militants set them on fire.
As IS continues to lose ground in Mosul, it is gettting more and more desperate and is now threatening to kill the over 750,000 children who are trapped in the besieged city. According to the aid group Save the Children, nearly 350,000 of the 750,000 residents stuck in Mosul are children.
"Children are trapped with nowhere to escape," Maurizio Crivallero, Save the Children's Iraq country director, told The Independent. "To a child it doesn't matter where the bombs come from — it's where they land that matters. The impact of explosive weapons in west Mosul is likely to be deadly and indiscriminate."