Iraq top cleric calls for key town liberation

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Saturday, 21 February 2015

Iraq’s top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has called for the liberation of the western town of al-Baghdadi currently held by the ISIL militants, one of his close aides says.

Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai, who represents the senior cleric, said on Friday that the grand ayatollah wanted efforts to be intensified to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the town located in the restive Anbar Province in western Iraq.

The ISIL Takfiri group captured most of al-Baghdadi last week. The town, which is located near the Ain al-Asad air base, was under siege for months. The air base reportedly houses more than 300 US marines.

On Tuesday, a local police chief said the ISIL terrorists have executed 150 civilians, including 45 people who were torched to death in al-Baghdadi.

The killings come days after Iraqi security forces retook from the ISIL militants the center of al-Baghdadi.

Earlier this month, ISIL drew worldwide condemnation after it released a video showing militants burning Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh alive. They further published a video last week showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya.

The ISIL terrorists currently control parts of Iraq and Syria. The extremists have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations, against all Iraqi communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.

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