Iraq Sentences 40 IS Militants to Death

Iraq Sentences 40 IS Militants to DeathIraq Sentences 40 IS Militants to Death

Iraq has sentenced 40 men to death over the killing of up to 1,700 military recruits at a former US base in 2014. The Camp Speicher massacre was carried out by fighters from the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group as they seized territory across northern Iraq. Outrage over the massacre of the mostly Shia cadets helped mobilize Iraq’s Shia militias in the fight against IS, BBC reported. Many of those sentenced were appealing against earlier rulings. Rights groups have criticized the trials. IS released photos and video documenting the massacre in 2014. Mass graves were discovered when Iraqi government forces recaptured the area, including the nearby town of Tikrit, in 2015. On Thursday, a Baghdad court convicted 40 defendants over the killings, under anti-terrorism legislation. Seven defendants were released because of a lack of evidence, a judicial spokesman said. A judicial official said all 47 defendants were Iraqi citizens. Photos and videos published by IS after the massacre showed soldiers being loaded onto vehicles and forced to lie face down on the ground before being shot dead.