The so-called Islamic State (IS) has released new video footage of the massacre it carried out at a military base near Tikrit in northern Iraq, where militants slaughtered an estimated 1,700 pro-government soldiers in June 2014.
The 22-minute film, made from a mix of old and new footage, shows militants tossing military recruits from Camp Speicher off the back of a truck on top of each other.
"These are not civilians, they are all military and special servicemen," an unidentified IS fighter says to the camera. "All are apostates who have come from cities of apostates to kill Sunnis here, we have more than 2,000 of them."
The recruits — most from the Shiite Muslim community — are then made to march bent over and with their hands tied behind their backs through the streets in single file to an execution site. There, they are lined up face down on the ground before militants open fire. Some cover their heads and tremble as their companions are shot.
VICE News spoke with a survivor of the massacre earlier this year, who described being abducted by militants and severely beaten. He witnessed multiple executions and beheadings, and said he escaped death by claiming to be a member of Sunni tribe.
The latest IS video shows some men pleading for their lives, telling the militants they had only recently been recruited to join the fight. After the killings, some of the dead men are thrown into the Tigris River, which turns red as blood spreads through the water.
Some 600 bodies have been exhumed from mass graves since Iraqi security forces retook Tikrit from the militant group in April, according to AFP.
A uniformed IS leader also appears in the video to warn other recruits of a similar fate. Local Shiite militias have joined with government and Kurdish forces in the allied fight to eradicate IS from Iraq, Syria, and other parts of the region, where the group has been waging a bloody insurgency since last summer. A coalition of international partners has also been bombing militant targets with airstrikes since August.
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