Islamic State executes top “mufti” west of Mosul over dissent plot
Islamic State militants have executed a top legislator for plotting armed dissent against the group at a major stronghold west of Mosul, a local source in Nineveh province said Thursday.
ِThe source told Alsumaria News that Abu Zakaria, the first “mufti” to be appointed by the group in 2014 in the town of Tal Afar, was executed after he had been jailed for more than four months over accusations of plotting an armed dissent against the group there.
Abu Zakaria, in his 50s, is a resident of Mosul, the source revealed.
Islamic State have been holding Tal Afar since 2014, with the area becoming one of its most significant bastions in Nineveh province.
So far, offensives by the pro-government Popular Mobilization have isolated the town from the Syrian borders and from Mosul, and recaptured a main military base there.
Government troops managed on Thursday to take over western Mosul’s Old City, marking a symbolic end to IS’s proclaimed “caliphate”.
The issue of Tal Afar’s invasion has been controversial since Iraqi government forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, launched an offensive in October to retake areas occupied by the Islamic State in Nineveh.
The Shia-led Popular Mobilization has occasionally said its fighters were awaiting orders from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to invade the mostly-Sunni Turkmen town. But regional Sunni powers, especially Turkey, had opposed the notion fearing sectarian consequences, obliging Abadi’s government to reassure that only the official forces would take up the mission.