Iraqi court sentences 27 men to death for involvement in Speicher massacre

An Iraqi criminal court has sentenced over two dozen men to death for their alleged involvement in the 2014 Speicher massacre by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in the north-central province of Salahuddin.

The Central Criminal Court of Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council on Tuesday handed down death penalty to 27 suspects who aided Daesh Takfiris to carry out the horrific carnage, the Arabic-language al-Sumeria television news agency quoted Abdul-Sattar Bairaqdar, the council’s spokesperson, as saying.

He also said that 25 other suspects in the case were released due to the lack of evidence against them, adding that the rulings could be appealed at the Court of Cassation.

On June 12, 2014, Daesh terrorists abducted about 1,700 Iraqi air force cadets from the Camp Speicher, a former US base, situated on the outskirts of the provincial capital Tikrit, the hometown of Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein. There were reportedly about 4,000 unarmed cadets in the camp when it came under attack by the militants.

Shortly afterward, terrorists took the victims to the complex of presidential palaces and executed them. They also threw some of the bodies into the river. The massacre was filmed by Daesh and broadcast on social media, showing the hostages as they were mostly lined up in various locations and slaughtered.

The horrendous mass killing incident sparked outrage across the Arab country and partially fueled the creation of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units , also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi in Arabic, with the aim of eliminating Daesh terrorists across Iraq.

Tikrit was recaptured from Daesh in March 2015. During clean-up operations in the northern part of the city, Iraqi forces found the location of the 2014 carnage. Since then, hundreds of bodies have been exhumed from multiple mass graves around the city.

An investigation committee initially revealed that 57 members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party had aided the Daesh terrorists in the massacre. On August 21, 2016, Iraqi judiciary officials hanged 36 men convicted of involvement in the carnage. On January 23 this year, 31 other convicts, linked to the massacre, were also executed.

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