Reports from the eastern Anbar Province town of Hit say that ISIS has carried out a mass public execution of 46 tribal fighters from the Albu Nimr Tribe, which were fighting alongside Iraqi government forces.
Albu Nimr tribe is a Sunni group influential in the former Sunni Awakening movement, and is one of the few tribes that remains on the side of the Iraqi government.
The tribal fighters had reportedly surrendered in a rout by ISIS fighters, and the killings were carried out all the same. The public show of force was seen as an effort to intimidate other tribal factions that may be inclined to rebel.
This is the first major public execution ISIS has carried out in Anbar Province, where it has mostly been welcomed by tribal factions as a safer alternative to Shi’ite militias.
Executions are a risky tactic with the tribals, as while they may indeed intimidate some in the near-term, ISIS is heavily dependent on tribal acquiescence in the long run for ruling their “caliphate.”