Islamic State group militants have publicly shot dead 36 Sunni tribesmen, women and children, pushing the number of members slain by the extremists in recent days to more than 200.
Sheik Naim al-Gaoud, a senior figure in the Al Bu Nimr tribe, said the militant group killed 29 men, four women and three children, lining them up in in the village of Ras al-Maa, north of Ramadi in Anbar province. He said the extremists shot each of them dead one by one.
The tribal leader warned that 120 families were still trapped there.
“These massacres will be repeated in the coming days unless the government and its security forces help the trapped people,” Mr al-Gaoud said.
Some Sunnis in Anbar province supported the militants when they seized Fallujah and parts of Ramadi in December. That came after widespread Sunni protests against the Shiite-led government in Baghdad for what they described as second-class treatment.
These recent slayings, all committed in public, raise the death toll suffered by the Sunni Al Bu Nimr tribe in recent days at the hands of the Islamic State group to at least 214 tribal members killed.
Analysts believe the Islamic State group may be trying to take revenge for the tribe siding with the American forces in the past, as well as Iraqi security forces. The killings will also likely terrify other Sunni tribes that would think of resisting the militants.
Since the Islamic State group’s offensive, a number of Iraq’s Sunni tribes have been fundamental in stalling its advance, taking up arms and fighting alongside Iraqi security forces. A US-led campaign of airstrikes is targeting the group as well, with nine strikes hitting its fighters yesterday and today in Beiji, Fallujah and Ar Rutbah, US Central Command said.