The Islamic State (Isis) has recruited an army hundreds of thousands strong, far larger than previous estimates by the CIA, according to a senior Kurdish leader. He said the ability of Isis to attack on many widely separated fronts in Iraq and Syria at the same time shows that the number of militant fighters is at least 200,000, seven or eight times bigger than foreign in intelligence estimates of up to 31,500 men. Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of the Kurdish President Massoud Barzani said in an exclusive interview with The Independent on Sunday that “I am talking about hundreds of thousands of fighters because they are able to mobilise Arab young men in the territory they have taken.
Islamic State militants have publicly crucified and murdered a teenager they accused of taking photographs of the terror group’s headquarters in Syria. Sickening images purportedly taken in the central square of the extremists’ de facto capital Raqqa show the battered and bloodstained body of an unnamed 17-year-old boy strapped to a cross. A handwritten placard hangs around the teenager’s neck, accusing him of ‘apostasy’ – the abandonment of his religion – and says he had been crucified for three days after being caught receiving 500 Turkish lira for every photograph he took of an Islamic State military base.