In the latest propaganda video from Islamic State, 21 hostages are paraded in cages through the packed streets of Iraq to cheers and jeers. But in a cruel twist, the orange jumpsuit-clad prisoners are interviewed by their captors – ahead of their presumably grim fate.
UK Daily Mail The nine-minute video (See ISIS full video HERE) allegedly shows 21 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, who are paraded through the crowded streets of the Iraqi province of Kirkuk, before being seemingly marched to their deaths.
The prisoners are driven one by one on the backs of pick-up trucks along with flag-waving militants – who are cover their faces and carry firearms – accompanying each prisoner.
Several men are then interviewed by a militant, who carries a microphone bearing the terror group’s insignia, before being taken out of their cages and pushed to their knees.
The camera then stops on several hostages in turn and text appears on screen, apparently revealing details about each individual.
And the footage ends with a haunting shot of an elderly man’s face before abruptly cutting to black, hinting that a terrible fate awaits him and his fellow prisoners.
Shiraz Maher, senior fellow at the International Center for Study of Radicalization at King’s College in London, wrote on Twitter: ‘New Islamic State video shows Peshmerga being paraded through Kirkuk province in cages.’
He says the video is ‘not as gory’ as previous ones, but adds that although it ends before it is seen, the men were presumably murdered.
Earlier this month, a video emerged showing a similar procession apparently taking place through Kirkuk in northwest Iraq.
Those men were purportedly burned alive on camera in a horrific echo of the murder of Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh.
Lt. al-Kaseasbeh was filmed being burned to death by Islamic State extremists in a 22-minute film which was expertly edited before being posted online.
Titled ‘Healing the Believers’ Chests’, it showed the captured airman locked in a cage before a trail of petrol leading up to its bars is set alight.
The terror group and the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have been locked in a series of tense battles for control of the Kirkuk province since January.
The video comes as a senior U.S. military official said a massive operation to retake Iraq’s second-largest city from the Islamic State using up to 25,000 Iraqi troops will likely begin in April or May.
The official from U.S. Central Command said the operation would involve 12 Iraqi brigades, five of which would be trained for the mission by the coalition in the coming weeks.
Those five would make up the core fighting force that would launch the attack.
But they would be supplemented by three smaller brigades serving as reserve forces, along with three Peshmerga brigades who would contain the Islamic State fighters from the north and west.
News of the offensive comes amid reports the terror group is facing a growing number of defections and cases of corruption in its ranks in two of its major strongholds, Mosul and Raqqa.
This is a continuation from a video which appeared on February 15th, showing the caged Peshmerga driven through streets crowded with extras, in the Hawija district. The video shows the quiet composure of the Peshmerga, and even without understanding what they say, one can pick up on their defiance.
CLICK HERE to see actual video