In revenge for killing my brother, we slaughtered Peshmerga prisoners

Kirkuk, 2015: Maktab Khalid area, where a number of Peshmergas went missing during an ISIS attack. Karwan Salihi

By KirkukNow

One of the captured commanders of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Kirkuk has admitted that he slaughtered all the Peshmerga prisoners in Hawija district, south of Kirkuk, shortly after they were displayed wearing orange uniforms in an iron cage.

He was arrested earlier this year on charges of killing his cousin under Article 406 of the Iraqi Penal Code in a security operation in southern Kirkuk.

He also confessed involvement in several crimes, including slaughtering prisoners of war POW, killing his cousin, a Mukhtar (representative of a group) and attempting to kill his uncle, according to sources informed about the investigation process. Besides, he fought in several battles against the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Peshmerga (fighter) forces between 2014 to 2017.

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The ISIL commander was arrested in Kirkuk for charges of killing his cousin. He had so many visitors while in detention, which made the security forces suspicious, according to KirkukNow sources.

"The security forces have been monitoring him. He has also been accused of pledging allegiance to Daesh (ISIS) in Hawija district and working with them," one of the anonymous sources said.

After suspicions increased, the security forces interrogated him and he confessed to some of his acts, including organizing sleeper cells of ISIS in prison.


According to the confessions obtained by KirkukNow, the commander admitted to being involved in the killing of his cousin, saying, "Because he (his) worked with the Peshmerga in Kirkuk and Dubiz district."

sarbazgay bagara

Kirkuk, 2018: Bagara military base near Hawija district where a number of mass graves have been found and suspected to contain the bodies of some of the Peshmerga prisoners. Karwan Salihi

"He planned to slaughter an uncle, but his plan failed," another source anonymously said. According to the ISIL official, the uncle had a shovel and made bunkers for the Peshmerga forces when they were fighting ISIL.

In 2017, the commander, who is from Hawija district, confessed that he and an ISIL detachment went behind the Peshmerga positions in the village of Qushqaya in Dubiz district in northwestern Kirkuk and killed the village’s Mukhtar and a geology engineer working in Khabaza oil field.

"I decided to slaughter the Peshmerga prisoners in revenge for my brother's murder"

On the morning of December 30, 2015, ISIS fighters attacked Kirkuk from four directions (Maryam Beg, Mullah Abdullah, Maktab Khalid and Tal Al-Ward). They have controlled some villages and made some progress yet they were thwarted once closed to Kirkuk

17 Peshmergas, mostly from Kirkuk, were captured by ISIS fighters.

The ISIL official, now in prison, participated in that battle. One of his brothers, who led the Al-Ingmasin suicide battalion, was killed in that operation.

"My brother was killed by the Peshmerga forces in the fighting... so I decided to immediately send a raid force to the aid of the the battalion to prevent their bodies from falling into the hands of the Peshmerga forces," he said.

My brother was killed by the Peshmerga forces in that battle so I decided to immediately send a raid force led by me to help the battalion

The same force took the prisoners to Hawija district, 55 km southwest of Kirkuk.

"We made iron cages for the prisoners in Hawija, dressed them in orange clothes and displayed them in the market," he said. "In revenge for killing my brother, I decided to slaughter the prisoners a few days later, as he was head of ISIS execution brigade in Kirkuk province.

Video: Hawija bazaar where ISIS displayed a number of Peshmerga prisoners in 2015.

“Each time, we slaughtered a couple of Peshmergas and I by myself supervised the process.”

ISIL then circulated photos for the slaughter of a couple of Peshmergas.

Since mid-2014, up to end of 2017 when the Iraqi government announced the end of ISIS in Iraq, more than 62 Peshmergas, 21 of them from Kirkuk, have been taken hostage or gone missing, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The bodies of the Peshmergas were buried in the village of Bagara near Hawija district and the house of a judge in the same district.

Hawija was the last Iraqi district to be liberated from ISIS in October 2017.

Shakhawan Zahir, brother of Asso, one of the Kirkuki Peshemrgas captured by ISIS, said lately he has met one of the Kirkuki leaders of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK. “We asked the PUK to help us bring back the bodies of our sons," the prisoners told KirkukNow.

Zahir earlier in a report told KirkukNow that following relentless efforts, he managed to meet an arrested ISIS leader in a prison of Kirkuk and learned from him that the bodies of several Peshmerga prisoners were in several graves were at a house in Hawija district and Bagara military base in Kirkuk.

"Daesh commander explained in detail how the Peshmergas were martyred, even saying that the bodies of 10 Peshmergas were buried Bagara and four bodies are in the garden of the Hawija judge's house," Shakhawan said.

Daesh commander explained in detail how the Peshmergas were martyred

Zahir told the PUK commander last may that he seeks their support in order to exhume the bodies of the Peshmergas captured by

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has been trying to bury the missing Peshmergas since last year, while the relatives of others are still searching for them and hope to find their bodies in mass graves.

The head of the execution cell of ISIS, while admitting to these actions, also admitted that after his arrest in prison, he was busy organizing the sleeper cells of ISIS, with the prisoners who belonged to the organization, according to sources (KirkukNow).

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