ISIS burns three women alive for refusing to execute civilians fleeing Mosul

People inspect burned shops after mortar shells landed in a market in the city of Mosul, Iraq, March 26, 2017. | REUTERS/Stringer

As the Iraqi forces continue the efforts to push the Islamic State out of Mosul, the terrorist group is committing more atrocities against the residents of the city, and it has recently burned three women to death for refusing to execute their fellow civilians.

Eyewitnesses have said that ISIS has burned three women who refused to kill other residents who were caught fleeing the areas held by the group in Mosul.

The witnesses said that a group of civilians was sentenced to death by the terrorist group for trying to escape from the Wadi Akab region. Three women were told to execute the civilians, but they were burned to death when they declined to carry out the order, Iraqi News reported, citing Shafaaq news website.

ISIS has steadily lost much of its territory in Mosul, the group's last major stronghold in Iraq. The U.S.-backed campaign to liberate the city from the terror group has entered its sixth month, and it is believed that it would take a few more months to rid the city of the militants.

Last Saturday, the U.S. military stated that as many as 200 civilians may have been killed as a result of an air strike on an ISIS-held area in Mosul. The announcement came after the Iraq government forces decided to suspend the operation to recapture the western part of the city due to the high rate of civilian casualties.

Residents fleeing from Mosul's Old City have said that militants are hiding among the civilians and are using the narrow alleyways and streets to their advantage. The residents also pointed out that the insurgents have used civilians as human shields and opened fire on them as they tried to flee from ISIS-held areas.

It is estimated that there are 400,000 civilians still trapped in the Old City, while as many as 600,000 civilians remain in Western Mosul.

"The worst is yet to come because 400,000 people trapped in the Old City in that situation of panic and penury may inevitably lead to the cork-popping somewhere, sometime, presenting us with a fresh outflow of large-scale proportions," said Bruno Geddo, a UNHCR representative in Iraq.

Geddo noted the struggles of the people who are trying to survive in the city without electricity and food.

"People have started to burn furniture, old clothes, plastic, anything they can burn to keep warm at night, because it is still raining heavily and the temperatures at night in particular drop significantly," he said.

"We also heard stories of people running away under the cover of early morning fog, running away at night, of trying to run away at prayer time when the vigilance at ISIS checkpoints is lower," he added.