As Iraqi troops stormed into the town of Hammam al-Alil, nearby Mosul, they began detecting a foul odor, an odor that was instantly recognizable to the soldiers that had experience liberating ISIS-held villages in the past. But the smell emanating from rotting flesh is never something you get used to.
On Monday, Iraq’s elite counter-terror units discovered a shallow grave containing at least 100 human corpses. The dead bodies, stripped of life by ISIS militants, had been festering for months.
The soldiers made the discovery inside an abandoned School of Agriculture after recapturing Hammam al-Alil from hold-out ISIS fighters desperate to retain control over their dwindling caliphate.
The images coming out of the town are unlike anything we’ve seen before. Even by ISIS’ own grisly standards, the carnage left behind by the Islamist militant group is difficult to stomach.
“One haunting picture showed a soldier pulling a child's stuffed toy from the scraps of clothing and rotting flesh, swarming with flies,” reports the Daily Mail.
Many of the bodies were decapitated. Some were found with missing limbs. Others were sliced up into pieces like meat at a butcher’s shop.
Since ISIS took control of central Iraq in 2014, it has carried out innumerable massacres against civilian populations, tormenting innocent people with regressive Islamic religious dictates, including ritualistic slaughter for perceived offenses against the Quran.
Even by ISIS’ own grisly standards, the carnage left behind by the Islamist militant group is difficult to stomach.
As Kurdish and Iraqi forces continue to claw away territory from the militant group, NGOs and human rights monitors are expecting to uncover more mass graves. Make no mistake, ISIS is lashing out against civilians in anticipation of the caliphate’s inevitable fall from unholy grace.
Brainwashed to believe that there’s redemption in martyrdom, ISIS fighters will take as many so-called apostates with them into the afterlife as they possibly can. And despite the full-force of a robust, Western-backed coalition, there may very little Iraqi and Kurdish troops could do to stop the death cult’s civilian massacres.