By John Lee.
Members of the so called “Islamic State” have targeted up to 170 men near Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk, AFP reports.
The men have been kidnapped in response to the alleged burning of an ISIL flag in two villages outside the city.
While ISIL have been known to severely punish dissenters, other reports have recently noted how the group has been even more harsh in the wake of coalition air strikes. Fighters are now reportedly policed for potential deserters in the ranks, and morale is reportedly low.
The men near Kirkuk have apparently been taken to an ISIL court in Hawija to await an apparent investigation. ISIL have in recent months cracked down firmly on dissent within the Sunni community, killing hundreds of members of the Albu Nimr tribe in the western Anbar province.
Meanwhile, ISIL leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi (pictured) is thought to be in hiding in Syria following the coalition air assault on Mosul in northern Iraq.
This latest ISIL show of local force could be another sign of the groups disarray as it loses territory within Iraq.