Islamic State fighters are killing its own fighters wounded in the on-going battle with Iraqi forces who began an offensive to take back Fallujah from the terror group last week, according to IraqNews.com.
The news outlet quotes an “informed medical source,” who reports, “The ISIS [Islamic State] terrorist gangs deliberately killed eight of its wounded fighters who were in a hospital in Fallujah City using Potassium Chloride injection that causes the heart to stop suddenly.”
The source added, “ISIS killed the wounded members due to its inability to deal with the large number of wounded fighters that will have a negative psychological effect on the other fighters.”
Backed by airstrikes from coalition forces, Iraqi special forces launched an assault on Fallujah early Monday morning amid what it being called stiff resistance. The operation began a week ago when Iraqi forces closed on the outlying areas of the city.
The most experienced fighters – Iraqi counter terrorism forces — are still five miles away from the city center, where close to 50,000 civilians are thought to be trapped. The Norwegian Refugee Council reports that since May 21, only 3,000 civilians have been able to escape the city.
Speaking to Al Jazeera by phone, one resident said, "There is some food. We have vegetables, enough to survive. But there is no rice and sugar, the price for a kilo of rice here reached $48."
He added that, "ISIL is on alert on the outskirts of the city. Its fighters have set up checkpoints and prepared ambushes, which prevent people from leaving."
Civilians also fear that the Shiite militias who have joined in the fight to recapture Fallujah will retaliate against the Sunni population of the city for perceived collaboration with ISIS. The involvement of the Shiite militias makes cooperation by the Sunni population – necessary for a victory against ISIS – questionable.
In fact, analysts say that ISIS enjoys considerable support by the local population of Fallujah.
In many cases, it is the Shiite militias that are deciding who among Fallujah’s population is a member of ISIS and who is an ISIS sympathizer.
"If you look at the public relations photos coming out Fallujah, you have women and children being given water bottles by the Shia militia men, but where are the men? What they do is they take the men and put them somewhere else and the militia men decide who is a Daesh [ISIL] and who is a collaborator, and the punishment is the same," said Michael Pregent of the Hudson Institute, speaking to Al Jazeera.
Fallujah has a history of resistance of outside forces, from the U.S. military to Iraqi forces. "Those fighting the Iraqi forces in Fallujah are mostly local indigenous actors – tribes, militant groups that have had more than decades worth of mobilization experience. It is fighters who took up arms against the U.S. and then after that against the Iraqi government, “ says Ranj Alaaldin, a Middle East analyst at the London School of Economics.
In response to the Fallujah offensive, ISIS managed to launch a surprise attack on the small city of Hit on Monday, with reports that they have captured the city. In Baghdad, ISIS suicide bombings have been effective at hitting soft targets – checkpoints, police and civilians — in recent days.