A group observing conditions on the ground in Syria reports thousands of executions at the hands of Islamic State militants — over 100 being homesick foreign fighters from within its own ranks.
Since its declaration of a Caliphate in Syria and Iraq in June, IS has conducted 1,878 executions, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Of those, 120 were members of IS who exceeded the “limits in religion.” SOHR reports that 116 were foreign fighters who came from outside Syria to join the group but were arrested and killed after trying to return home.
French media earlier this month reported several of the estimated 376 French Islamic State fighters who traveled to Syria seeking adventure and an Islamic paradise were now disillusioned with battlefield conditions, including cold weather and being sent into combat without proper training.
“I’m sick and tired. My iPod doesn’t work anymore. I have to return,” one wrote, according to Al Jazeera.
Many of the demoralized fighters were reportedly worried about the legal consequences of returning home. The French government has incarcerated 76 of its 100 citizens who have returned from Syrian battlefields. One such French citizen reportedly shot four people to death in a Belgian museum.
Other European countries, such as Germany, have also jailed citizens who travel to fight in Syria and then return.
According to the SOHR report, since declaring a Caliphate in June, IS also executed 502 Syrian army soldiers, 81 fighters from al-Qaida’s Nusra Front and other rebel groups, and 1,175 civilians, 930 being Sunni Muslims from the al-Shaitaat tribe, who warred with IS over oil fields in August.
SOHR collects information from a variety of sources on the ground in Syria. Its figures cannot be independently verified