Iraqi forces on Monday night announced the capture of an Islamic State (ISIS) commander and six other militants in southwest Kirkuk province who are alleged to have committed “heinous crimes” against civilians.
The seven unnamed ISIS suspects were arrested by Iraqi troops, the defense ministry announced via social media, without describing the circumstances of their capture.
Among the prisoners is an alleged ISIS commander who managed the Hawija Grain Mill when the group controlled the area from mid-2014 to October 2017.
In a video published on Facebook by the Iraqi defense ministry, the unnamed ISIS commander, whose face is blurred, is showed confessing to the murder of three Kurds and two other individuals from Diyala province.
“Members of our group kidnapped three Kurdish nationals and brought them to Hawija. Our leader ordered me to behead them. Together with two other persons who were from Diyala, we executed the order,” he said, without identifying their leader.
Iraqi and Kurdish security forces regularly publish videos of their captives making confessions – a format often seen in jihadist propaganda films. Human rights groups regularly accuse Iraqi courts of using confessions obtained by duress.
The defense ministry condemned the “barbaric” group, accusing them of “heinous crimes against humanity killing innocent people” without providing details.
The group allegedly confessed to plotting attacks inside Kirkuk using the families of slain ISIS militants, the ministry claimed.