Islamic State jihadis have burnt their own fighters in a terrifying message to the West after they lost a town to Iraqi forces, it has been reported.
Extremist fled to the group’s headquarters in Mosul where they were met with a brutal punishment as they were set alight in the town’s main square.
It has also been claimed that terrorists are murdering women and children accused of being spies as the group’s grip on the town starts to fracture.
Iraqi forces pushed ISIS out of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, two weeks ago in a major set back for Islamic State.
This is the second time the group has carried out the gruesome attack on its own after burning fighters who lost Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit last year.
A former Iraqi resident now living in the US said: “They were grouped together and made to stand in a circle. And set on fire to die.”
Michael Pregent, a terrorism expert and former intelligence adviser, said: ”There is no surprise on executing ISIS fighters from Ramadi.
“ISIS is fracturing, paranoid from within. They are using women and children executions to intimidate – the harsher the tactic the more desperate the leadership is.”
The revelations come as US military announce an air strike on an ISIS cash distribution site in Mosul in an attempt to disrupt their financial activities.
US defence officials said the building in Mosul was destroyed by two 2,000lb bombs.
It is believed 3,200 ISIS fighters are based in the town, more than three times the number that held Ramadi, according to sources.
Officials said efforts to rebuild Ramadi were being hampered by boobytraps in streets and buildings.
The militants have been pushed to Ramadi’s eastern suburbs, but almost all of the city remains off-limits to its nearly half a million residents.
Anbar governor Sohaib al-Rawi said: “Most areas are now under the security forces’ control.
“Most of the streets in Ramadi are mined with explosives so it requires large efforts and expertise.”
Specialised bomb disposal teams from the police and civil defence force would begin work “soon”, he said.
Counter-terrorism forces which spearheaded the city’s recapture are securing only main streets and tactically important buildings, security sources have revealed.