WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT
Harrowing new footage has emerged of a young boy executing prisoners on the banks of the Tigris River, amid one of the biggest massacres ever committed by Islamic State fanatics.
Filmed during the Daesh killing spree in Tikrit last year, the young boy is seen shooting at least two men in the head after adults have dragged the prisoners before him.
Ignoring prisoners’ pleas for mercy, the child grasps a pistol with both hands as he pulls the trigger. The men’s limp bodies are then cast into the water, which soon flows red with blood.
Images of the child executioner are just a small part of a graphic 22minute-long video released by the jihadis at the weekend.
It was recorded during the Speicher massacre last year – an atrocity which left an estimated 1,700 dead and ranks among the worst to have occurred in Iraq over the past decade.
Young men are seen falling from trucks and pleading for their lives before being lay down in shallow graves and sprayed with bullets.
Others are executed individually as the killings continue into the night and an excavator is required to shift piles of bodies.
In fact, the wholesale slaughter was so vast the graves used to bury the victims could be seen from space.
ISIS gunmen captured the Iraqi cadets at the Speicher military base near Tikrit and executed them at various locations, mostly in the city’s former presidential palace complex which was built by former dictator Saddam Hussein.
The video, posted on jihadist forums, shows many victims pleading for their lives, attempting to explain they had only just joined the security forces.
ISIS has released new footage showing hundreds of people being killed during the infamous Speicher massacre
A captor lectures the young cadets as they lie bound and gagged in the shallow grave
Extremists holding the ISIS flag and machine guns stand over a group of prisoners forced to lie in the dirt
Dozens of prisoners pile off a truck prior to being executed as their armed captors stand guard
Around 600 bodies have been exhumed since government and allied fighters retook Tikrit from ISIS in April but many of the victims were dumped into the Tigris River.
An unidentified ISIS leader in military uniform is seen in the video released on Saturday.
He states: ‘This is a message I address to the whole world and especially to the Rafidha dogs, I tell them we are coming,’ he said, using the pejorative term ISIS employs for Shiite Muslims.
The video was released four days after a court in Baghdad sentenced 24 men to death by hanging over the Speicher massacre.
The trial lasted only a few hours, and the convictions were based mostly on confessions the defendants claimed were obtained under torture.
Dozens of young military cadets are led down to the waterfront prior to being executed
The spot where victims were shot and pushed into the Tigris (pictured) has, since Tikrit was retaken, been turned into an improvised shrine
Combined with a call by the country’s top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for Iraqis to take up arms against them, the Speicher massacre played a key role in the mass recruitment of Shiite volunteers to fight the jihadists.
One of the spots where the Speicher cadets were executed is a police building in the sprawling Tikrit palace complex former president Saddam Hussein built in his hometown.
The quay where the victims were shot in the head and pushed into the Tigris has, since Tikrit was retaken, been turned into an improvised shrine.
Relatives, many of whom may never have a body to bury, have streamed to the site over the past two months along with fighters, delegations of officials, students and others.
The scale of the killings was so vast they continued into the night. Pictured are a group of prisoners blindfolded and forced to lie in the dirt