Damascus (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The militias of the Islamic State (IS) have killed over 230 people and thrown their bodies into a mass grave in the village of Kashkiya, in eastern Syria. "Most of them were civilians". According to reports by activists of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights the victims are members of a tribe who fought last summer against the jihadist movement in the province of Deir al-Zour. The mass grave was discovered after IS leaders allowed remaining members of the Sheitat tribe to return to their homes. A concession announced by their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on condition they surrender and under the threat of killing any "traitors".
Last month, the United Nations had published reports from sources within the country, that spoke of massacres that took place last August in the area. According to experts the carnage is the result of a retaliation perpetrated by the jihadists against those whose who offered resistance; the area is of strategic importance for the terrorists who want control of the oil resources around the town of Mohassan.
A survivor spoke of the horrors perpetrated by the Islamist militias, who "hung many corpses on the walls, while I and my family were trying desperately to escape." As evidence of jihadist violence, several videos have been posted on the web showing mass beheadings carried out against members of the Sheitat tribe.
In the images you can see some of the fighters mocking the victims before killing them during scenes of mass executions; in some cases, the terrorists removed injured people from their hospital beds before beheading them. The mass killings are reportedly in response to the interruption of negotiations between the two sides, after the refusal expressed by leaders and elders of the tribe to provide their support to the militants.
Yesterday's discovery brings the number of Sheitat tribe members killed over the summer to 900.
Since the beginning of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al Assad, in 2011, over 3.2 million people have fled Syria and other 7.6 million are internally displaced. There are at least 200 thousand victims of the conflict, many of them civilians. All the brutality and violence of the Islamic State emerged for the first time in the Spring of 2013 within the context of the Syrian conflict. Since then IS began its rapid advance in the territories of the region, taking large chunks of territory from Damascus and Baghdad, and imposing a full scale reign of terror.