Islamic State group militants are crucifying people and using the dead bodies as a symbolic warning to Iraqi forces attempting to re-take the city of Mosul from the terror organization, Reuters reported Wednesday. The bodies of five people accused of supplying information to "the enemy" were posted in public, a sign meant to show the group also known as ISIS and Daesh was still in control of the strategic city.
"I saw five corpses of young men which had been crucified at a road junction in east Mosul," one Mosul resident told Reuters. "The Daesh people hung the bodies out and said that these were agents passing news to the infidel forces and apostates."
ISIS was also patrolling the city for people in violation of its laws about beard length and smoking cigarettes.
"I saw some of the Hisba elements of Daesh (Islamic State) checking people's beards and clothes and looking for smokers," another resident told Reuters.
ISIS' so-called morality police — the Hisba — has been enforcing the group's strict laws for all men in Mosul to have beards and for no cigarette smoking since last year.
The terror group's brutality has been on heightened display in Mosul as of late. It recently kidnapped 300 former Iraqi soldiers, used an estimated 1,500 families as human shields during battles and was reportedly slitting civilians throats and shooting babies in the city.
ISIS also has a history of punishing people, including its own fighters, for breaking its rules, such as smoking cigarettes. Those punishments include stomping on the head of a person in apparent violation of the rule.
Iraqi security forces have reported making significant progress in squeezing ISIS out of Iraq, but the group has been hanging on to its last stronghold in the country in the city of Mosul. The battle for Mosul is in its fourth week.