Police Chief Colonel Qasim al-Obeidi has been quoted by the media as stating that up to 45 people were burnt alive in the Anbar, a western province in Iraq. He alleges that the individuals were victims of the Sunni radical group Islamic State.
According to NDTV, those killed belonged to the albu-Obeid Sunni tribe, and included policemen and members of the government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group. The targeted town is located near the major airbase of Ain al-Asad. Over 300 U.S. Marine are stationed at the military installation, acting as trainers and advisors.
The militant group attacked a neighborhood in Anbar where dozens of families of Sahwa fighters and security members live. Al-Obeidi stated that the residents, though facing a food, water and ammunition shortage, fought back against the IS siege.
On Saturday, the radical group executed 33 individuals from the town. Several were local policemen and Sahwa fighters.
NDTV reported that the Islamic State had seized a majority of Anbar, Iraq’s largest province, and were trying to advance toward Baghdad, but several counter attacks have pushed them back from the western area of the capital.
Additional attacks have be held back from the Ain al-Asad airbase by U.S. aircraft and security forces. However, fighting continued even after most of the town was under Iraqi control once again.
For over a year, insurgent attacks have increased and the security situation in Iraq has deteriorated. The situation escalated in June when a clash broke out between Iraqi security forces and IS.