Bringing up the Bodies: Forensic Teams Uncover ISIS Massacre

The mass graves were located in a tranquil field by the highway not far from a lush palm grove. A water tower could be seen in the distance, its top painted with the black and white letters of the Islamic State, the radical group that overran Tikrit last year.
For many of the thousands of Shiite militiamen who made up the bulk of the government forces, however, taking Tikrit wasn't just about claiming a military victory — it was about finding the remains of friends, colleagues and family members. Last year, after taking this northern city, ISIS rounded up local Iraqi security forces and, in an early propaganda effort, released videos and photos of the frightened conscripts as they were led in ragtag lines to shallow ditches before being summarily executed. As many as 1,700 Iraqi soldiers are believed to have been killed in Tikrit.



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