ISIS circulates alleged footage of the beheading of a high-ranking Iraqi officer kidnapped in Diyala

Iraqi military officer Yasser al-Jourani. (Photo: Archive)
Iraqi military officer Yasser al-Jourani. (Photo: Archive)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – ISIS published footage this week that purported to show the beheading of a high-ranking Iraqi officer who was among those recently abducted by the extremist group in the central province of Diyala.

Two weeks ago, ISIS militants kidnapped the four people, including the Director of the Adhamiya Passport Department, Colonel Yasser al-Jourani, while they were on a fishing trip on Hamrin Lake, located among Iraq's disputed territories.

The Kurdistan Region’s Minister of Peshmerga Affairs said on Tuesday that increased collaboration in recent months by Kurdish and Iraqi forces has been effective in reducing ISIS activity in territories disputed by Baghdad and Erbil.

Read More: Peshmerga Minister: Joint operations with Iraqi forces 'have limited the movement of ISIS'

In such areas, ISIS has long exploited the federal and regional forces' lack of a unified security strategy.

Internet platforms associated with ISIS broadcast video footage and still images that appear to show Jourani kneeling in a semi-deserted area with a masked man carrying a weapon standing directly behind him, with the black and white ISIS flag serving as a backdrop.

According to the terrorist group, they kidnapped Jourani and the three others in an area located between the Narin and Tal al-Owaisat localities that overlook Hamrin Lake in the disputed town of Saadiya.

Security sources confirmed the death of Jourani and one additional member of the fishing party, noting that the Iraqi army had found their remains while carrying out security operations in the area.