US Marines on the Ground in Iraq as ISIS Burns 45 Alive
Policy + Politics

US Marines on the Ground in Iraq as ISIS Burns 45 Alive

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Iraqi local officials in Iraq’s town of al-Baghdadi have warned of another ISIS mass burning massacre. The terror organization surrounded a compound several days ago that houses more than 1000 families and burned 45 people alive. 

“ISIS has killed more than 150 people from al-Obaid tribe...some of them were burned alive and some were beheaded...they were policemen...some of them fought against ISIS before,” said sheikh Mal Allah al-Obaidi, the head of the local council in the al-Baghdadi. 

Related: 9 ISIS Weapons That Will Shock You

An Iraqi air base is located next to al-Baghdadi. More than 300 US military service members are providing training, and coordinating US air raids there. As the US military official at the central command announced that the US will train 12 Iraqi brigades to start an Iraqi operation to liberate the northern city of Mosul in April or May, reports emerged suggesting US Marines will conduct a limited operation in the border area between Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to strike ISIS jihadists who control the border area. 

“US forces have landed in al-Habbaniya air base,” said Saadon Shehan, a blogger from al-Ramadi, the provincial capital of al-Anbar province in western Iraq. 

The target of the Marines supposed operation is to cut a major funding source to ISIS by ending its control of the border area. It is estimated that ISIS makes $150,000 daily by collecting money from travelers using the Iraqi – Jordanian highway. 

The town of al-Baghdadi has been surrounded by ISIS for eight months, which launched numerous unsuccessful attacks to capture it. Finally a series of attacks carried out by suicide bombers in the town a week ago gave ISIS control of a major part of the city, including the residential compound. 

Related: Three Hidden Messages Behind ISIS’s Bloody Rampages 

“The people of the residential compound are now under ISIS control. They are urging the government to help them. There are more than a thousand families there. All phone and Internet communication have been cut. Al-Baghdadi is totally isolated from the rest of the world now,” sheikh al-Obaidi added. 

Communication is the least that the people of al-Baghdadi worry about. With ISIS in charge, all kinds of human supply into the town have been stopped as a means to break the city resistance. Food, medicine, water, electricity and fuel have been withheld by ISIS.   

“The people of al-Baghdadi are living in a true tragedy. They are facing death in every way: hunger, thirst, diseases and the extreme cold,” said sheikh al-Obaidi. Three children died today after drinking unclean water. Dozens of others were hospitalized. 

“The Iraqi government is responsible for the lives of those executed by ISIS or still prisoners.... It has never answered our requests carried by formal and tribal delegations to Baghdad to act and save 50,000 people under ISIS siege in al-Baghdadi.  As if we are all sentenced to genocide,” said sheikh Qatari al-Semermed, another tribal leader of al-Obaid tribe in the town. 

In Baghdad, a special force in on its way to al-Baghdadi – but the people there still have to die waiting. 

Top Reads from The Fiscal Times: