More than 400 people have been executed since the capture of the Syrian city of Palmyra by the Islamic State four days ago, according to Syrian state media.
Reports from activists reveal that the militant group carried out extra-judicial executions upon taking over the Syrian city. The dead also include women and children.
Palmyra, declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and home to some of the world’s most preserved Roman ruins, was seized by the Islamic State group on Wednesday. The fall of the city of 50,000 people came after Ramadi in Iraq also fell to the militant outfit, according to The Huffington Post.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that those deceased were either shot, killed with knives or beheaded.
According to ABC News, the group said, “The Observatory has confirmed that the Islamic State has executed 67 civilians, including 14 children and 12 women in Sukhnah, Al-Amiriyah, the outskirts of the Officers’ Housing and Palmyra.
“IS also executed more than 150 members of the army, National Defence Forces and Popular Committees (pro-regime militias) and others accused of being ‘informers loyal to the regime’.”
On Sunday, the Gulf Cooperation Council said that the coalition is not failing, but agreed that the “air campaign is not enough” and that a lot more needs to be done.
As reported by The Guardian, Khalid al-Attiyah, Qatar’s foreign minister, said after a meeting between foreign ministers of the GCC and EU, “There are so many steps which we have to cooperate and coordinate together. To date the campaign against terror is effective. One of them is to enhance and expedite the dialogue in Iraq, and in Syria it is to find a way out to save the Syrian people, because they have been put between the tyranny of the regime and the brutality of the terrorist.”
The Shiite dominated government is being urged by aid agencies and politicians to allow families who have been forced to live in the open for days following the militant group’s capture of Palmyra admittance into Baghdad. However, authorities fearing the threat of IS infiltration are asking civilians seeking shelter in Baghdad to find sponsors.
The revolt against president Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011. Although the protests were peaceful in the beginning, more than three quarters of the country’s territory have been lost to the militant organization.
Almost 250,000 people have been killed and as much as 8 million forced to leave their homes and flee in the civil war that has lasted for four years.
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