Islamic State beheads seven men, three women in Syria

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Islamic State beheaded seven men and three women in a northern Kurdish area in Syria, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Wednesday.

”The massacre came as part of a campaign to frighten residents resisting the militant group’s advance,” the observatory stated.

The head of the observatory, Rami Abdul-Rahman, said five anti-Islamic State Kurdish fighters, including three women and four Syrian Arab rebels, were detained and beheaded on Tuesday, west of Kobani, a Kurdish town besieged by Islamic State near the Turkish border.

Abdul-Rahman also said a Kurdish male civilian was beheaded.

“I don’t know why they were arrested or beheaded. Only the Islamic State knows why. They want to scare people,” he added.

Islamic State fighters have carried out several beheadings of rival and enemy fighters in Syria and Iraq, in addition to dozens of civilians.

The beheadings are often carried out in public and with a message that any violent or non-violent opposition to the Islamic State organisation will not be tolerated.

Islamic State militants launched an assault on Kobani in mid-September in an effort to seize the strategic border town. The attack has caused thousands of Kurds to flee into neighbouring Turkey.

Since they launched their insurgency in July, Islamic State has used beheadings to scare local leaders to withdraw from the battlefield. It has beheaded foreign journalists and an aid worker.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) changed its name to Islamic State after declaring a caliphate, conquering large areas in Syria and Iraq.

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said Islamic State is creating a major refugee crisis in Syria by displacing thousands as they take over areas of the country.

As a result of the terrorist organisation’s threats in Iraq and Syria, a US-led coalition of Arab and International allies has launched air strikes on Islamic State militant targets in Syria.