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ISIS Militants Reportedly Behead Kurds In Northern Syria

A human rights group reports that Islamic State militants in a Kurdish area of northern Syria have beheaded seven men and three women as part of an apparent campaign to quell resistance to the group.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the 10 people, including four Syrian rebels, were detained and then beheaded on Tuesday, about 8 miles west of the city of Kobani, a Kurdish town near the Turkish border that has been under siege from the Islamist group for weeks.

"I don't know why they were arrested or beheaded. Only the Islamic State knows why. They want to scare people," Syrian Observatory chief Rami Abdulrahman tells Reuters.

The grisly report comes a day after the self-declared Islamic State released a third video of kidnapped British journalist John Cantlie. As in the previous two propaganda videos, Cantlie appears in an orange prison-style jumpsuit and speaks out against Western intervention in the region.

Referring to President Obama's speech on the threat of the militant group, also called ISIS or ISIL, Cantlie says: "It was all disappointingly predictable; America is good, the Islamic State is bad; and they will be defeated using aircraft and a motley collection of fighters on the ground. For their part the Islamic State say they welcome meeting Obama's under-construction army."

Also on Tuesday, British warplanes joined in airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq for the first time since the U.K. Parliament authorized their participation.

The U.K. Ministry of Defense said Cyprus-based Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft struck targets there for the first time since the Iraq war.

The Guardian says:

" 'In the course of an armed reconnaissance mission from RAF Akrotiri, two Tornados were tasked to assist Kurdish troops in north-west Iraq who were under attack from Isil (Isis) terrorists,' the MoD said in a statement.

"It said the RAF patrol identified an Isis heavy weapon position that was attacking Kurdish ground forces.

"A Paveway IV guided bomb was used to attack the Isis position. The Tornado patrol subsequently identified an Isis armed pick-up truck in the same area and conducted an attack on the vehicle using a Brimstone missile."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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