The Islamic State is now punishing members who escape battles with Iraqi troops in Mosul by cutting their ears, local sources in Nineveh said Tuesday according to iraqinews.com.
Speaking to Alsumaria News, the source said the group cut on Tuesday one ear of each of 33 members who had fled the battlefield. They were imprisoned before the punishment was carried out at a local hospital, the source added.
“The leadership of the extremist group threatened to cut both ears if escapes are repeated,” said the source, asking not to be named.
The source said it was significant that the group did not execute the delinquent members as it had used to do since operations to retake Mosul launched in October, adding that the new punishment was apparently adopted as the group was shrinking in numbers.
Iraqi government troops, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary forces, recaptured eastern Mosul in January after three months of fighting, and launched a renewed offensive in February to retake the western region.
The Joint Operations Command said Tuesday IS, at present, is deployed at only 6.8 percent of territory of Iraq.
News about internal divisions within IS ranks, as well as executions of slack fighters have been recurrent.