Heaven wait: Large ISIS group surrenders, takes pass on martyrdom

by WorldTribune Staff, October 8, 2017

Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists are running out of food, money – and the will to be martyred.

More than 1,000 desperate ISIS fighters surrendered last week after fleeing their Iraqi stronghold at Hawija.

Kurdish peshmerga forces detain Islamic State militants near Hawija on Oct. 5. / Reuters

“Instead of the martyrdom they had boasted was their only acceptable fate, they had voluntarily ended up here in the interrogation center of the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq,” Rod Nordland reported for The New York Times on Oct. 8.

The jihadists are “giving up” because “their leaders are abandoning them,” said Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, the U.S. commander in the fight against ISIS.

“The speed at which the enemy gave up surprised me,” Funk told USA Today. “They’re coming out with their hands up, putting their weapons down – full scale surrender. It’s a growing trend.”

While very few ISIS fighters surrendered in the battle for Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, some 500 gave up in Tal Afar.

“Many of the militants said they were ordered by their leaders to turn themselves in to the Kurds, who were known to take prisoners instead of killing them,” the New York Times report said.

Capt. Ali Muhammed Syan, chief of the Asayish interrogators in Dibis, Iraq, said even the fighters did not seem to know why their leaders were telling them to quit. “Maybe it’s some deal,” he said. “Maybe it’s just bad morale, I don’t know.”

The Islamic State wali, or governor of Hawija, “told the men to turn themselves in to the Kurdish forces, known as the peshmerga, and to flee the advancing Iraqi Army and its Shi’ite militia allies, the Iranian-trained Hashed al-Shaabi, notorious for killing not only Islamic State prisoners but also their entire families,” the report said.

One of the jihadists who surrendered, Maytham Muhammed Mohemin, said he had fought for the terror group for two years because the $100 a month pay was better than anything else around.

Mohemin arrived in Dibis with eight companions, seven Iraqis and an Egyptian, “after they dropped their weapons in Hawija,” the Times report said. “Since the beginning of the Iraqi offensive two weeks earlier, they had spent most of the time burrowed in foxholes to escape the relentless American bombing and shelling by advancing Iraqi forces, and had passed days without sanitary facilities or food.”

Mohemin told the Times: “The governor told us each to ‘solve your own problem and find your own solution for yourself.’ He said, ‘Go to the peshmerga, not to the Hashed.’ ”

“This is the end of this state,” Mohemin said. “I believe if the governors are telling us to surrender, it really means that this is the end.”

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