ISIS Claims Massacre of 1,700 Iraqi Soldiers

TIME

In a series of tweets and shocking photos posted to their social media sites, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is boasting to have slaughtered 1,700 Iraqi soldiers in the past week as the militant Islamist group continued its blitzkrieg towards Baghdad.

The alleged massacre, as well as the body count, has not yet been verified, but if proved true it would be the single largest act of mass killing in a war that now spans Syria and Iraq. Even if exaggerated, the claims are potent propaganda designed to terrify their opponents and pre-empt resistance as the al-Qaeda inspired group consolidates control in Iraq’s Sunni areas.

It also may be designed to inflame sectarian tensions, all but demanding a response from the country’s Shiite militias in an effort to launch a sectarian war that could end up redrawing the map of the Middle East.

The photos, some 60…

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