The screenshot of a video shared on social media showing Sheikh Adnan while embracing a Peshmerga.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – An Arab chieftain from Diyala province appears to have been beheaded by ISIS militants after appearing in a video supporting the Kurdistan referendum.
According to a Rudaw reporter, Sheikh Adnan, chieftain of Saef Saad village in Qaratapa, was filmed a few days before the referendum was held receiving a group of Peshmerga soldiers. In the video, he says, “Long live Kurdistan. I am with the Kurds even if they separate my head from my body.”
He was abducted on September 27 and on Monday ISIS published photographs of his beheading.
Even though ISIS no longer controls any significant territory in the region, they continue to operate as sleeper cells, carrying our sporadic activities and attacks.
A Kurdish official in the region told Rudaw that ISIS has carried out a number of kidnappings recently.
“ISIS has beheaded six people in the region over the past two months,” said Simko Ali, head of Koski security forces in Kifri town.
Qaratapa is part of the Kurdistani or disputed areas near Khanaqin in Diyala province. It has an estimated population of 45,000. Some three quarters of its population is Arab, and it has equal-sized Kurdish and Turkmen minorities.
ISIS tried to take control of Qaratapa when it swept through northern Iraq in 2014, but the Peshmerga defended the town and remained in control.
Qaratapa participated in the September 25 referendum, along with many other Kurdistani areas.