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ISIS terror: Jihadists kill man for 'filming HQ'

ISIS has executed a man they accused of filming their headquarters and displayed his body on a cross, even as Kurdish forces in Kobane repulsed a new attempt by jihadists to cut off the border with Turkey.

world Updated: Oct 19, 2014 02:04 IST

Islamic State group jihadists have executed a man in northern Syria they accused of filming their headquarters and displayed his body on a cross, a monitoring group said on Saturday.

The man was put to death in the Aleppo province town of Al-Bab on Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

His body was then strapped to a makeshift metal cross and hung with a sign reading "Abdullah Al-Bushi. Crime: filming Islamic State headquarters for 500 Turkish lira ($222) per video," the Britain-based group said, citing witnesses on the ground.

"Judgement: execution and crucifixion for three days," the sign hung around the man's neck added.

IS has carried out repeated executions of those it accuses of spying or diverging from its harsh interpretation of Islam.

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Kurdish refugee children from the Syrian town of Kobani are pictured in a camp in the southeastern town of Suruc on the Turkish-Syrian border. The United Nations Security Council on Friday pushed for a bombing campaign in Iraq against Islamic State militants and associated extremist groups to be strengthened and expanded. Reuters



It has publicly beheaded suspects and hung their bodies from crosses in its own version of crucifixions.



Two IS fighters, one just 15, were, meanwhile, themselves executed after being taken prisoner during fighting around the battleground town of Kobane by Arab allies of its Kurdish defenders, the Observatory said.



Members of the Liwa Thuwar al-Raqa rebel group carried out the executions in an area west of Kobane, which IS has been trying to seize for more than three weeks.



The prisoners were shot in the head from behind, then their bodies riddled with gunfire, said the Britain-based Observatory, which has a wide network of sources inside Syria.

Kurds thwart new jihadist bid to cut off Syria town

Kurdish forces in the Syrian town of Kobane repulsed a new attempt by Islamic State fighters to cut off the border with Turkey Saturday as troops battled the jihadists in neighbouring Iraq.

A Kurdish official reported five new US-led strikes around Kobane overnight as the coalition kept up its air support for the town's defenders.

But the US military said that while it saw some "encouraging" signs, the strikes might not prevent Kobane's fall and its priority remained the campaign against the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq.

Heavy IS mortar fire hit the Syrian side of the border crossing with Turkey which is the Kurdish fighters' sole avenue for resupply and the only escape route for remaining civilians, Kurdish official Idris Nassen told AFP.

The jihadists launched a fierce attack from the east towards the border gate before being pushed back, he added.

IS suffered heavy losses in the fighting and was forced to send in reinforcements, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The jihadists lost 21 of their people to air strikes and another 14 in ground fighting on Friday, the Britain-based monitoring group said. The Kurds lost three of their fighters.

An AFP correspondent on the Turkish side reported sporadic mortar fire very close to the border crossing on Saturday afternoon.

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura warned earlier this month that about 12,000 civilians remained in and around Kobane and risked "massacre" if the jihadists cut off the border.

Kobane district chief Anwar Muslim said Friday that IS sniper and mortar fire was preventing authorities from evacuating civilians caught up in the battle.

"Their situation is difficult," he added.

Overnight coalition air strikes on IS targets elsewhere in Syria killed 10 civilians, the Observatory said.

Seven died in Deir Ezzor province in the east and three more in Hasakeh province in the northeast, said the group, which has a wide network of sources inside the country.

'Iraq our main effort'

The US commander overseeing the air war hailed "encouraging" signs in the defence of Kobane, but said the town could still fall and that Iraq remained the coalition's priority.

"Iraq is our main effort and it has to be, and the things that we're doing right now in Syria are being done primarily to shape the conditions in Iraq," said General Lloyd Austin.

Iraqi government troops are battling IS on two fronts -- in the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi, west of Baghdad, and near Tikrit, hometown of executed dictator Saddam Hussein.

Ramadi is in a shrinking patch of territory in the predominantly Sunni Arab province where forces loyal to the Shiite-led government still hold ground, and its loss would be a major blow for Baghdad.

Iraqi troops have been struggling to retake and hold ground, despite coalition air support.

Security in the capital also remains a problem with bombings killing nearly 50 people in the past two days alone.

But the Pentagon has insisted Baghdad faces no "imminent threat" from the jihadists.

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British soldiers instruct Kurdish Peshmerga fighters during a training session at a shooting range in Arbil, in Iraq's northern autonomous Kurdistan region. British army trainers have begun teaching Kurdish Peshmerga fighters how to fire and maintain heavy machineguns, as part of their fight against Islamic State (IS) militants. Picture taken October 16, 2014. Reuters



UN urges Baghdad support



The US-led coalition has prioritised the campaign against IS in Iraq because it can work with both government and Kurdish forces on the ground.



The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously called for increased support for the Baghdad government in the face of the "vicious string of suicide, vehicle-borne and other attacks" in the capital.



In Syria, the coalition refuses to work with the government of President Bashar al-Assad, having sided with the opposition in the country's devastating civil war.



Even the Kurdish defenders of Kobane had no direct contact with US officials until last weekend, and Washington only revealed that on Thursday.



Previous contacts with the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) had all been handled through intermediaries, as the group has close ties with the rebel Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey -- which is on the US terror blacklist.



The PYD confirmed on Saturday that its leader Saleh Muslim had met in Paris last Sunday with the US special envoy for Syria Daniel Rubinstein.



It said IS attacks on Kobane and Kurdish resistance had been among the topics discussed but made no specific reference to its repeated appeals for weapons for its beleaguered ground forces.



The jihadists are well entrenched in a swathe of Iraq and Syria where they declared an Islamic caliphate in June and have unleashed a wave of atrocities.



They have included massacres of ethnic minority civilians and captured soldiers, and beheadings of Western aid workers and journalists.



In Syria's northern province of Aleppo, IS jihadists on Thursday executed a man they accused of filming their headquarters, and displayed his body on a cross, the Observatory said.



Meanwhile, two IS fighters, one just 15, were executed after being captured near Kobane by Arab allies of its Kurdish defenders, the monitoring group said.