The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) bragged about executing 1700 Shiite soldiers and posted harrowing photos of the mass killings on Twitter Saturday. Photos of the executions were circulating all major news portals around the globe.
One photo showed men hunkered under a flag. Another photo showed men walking while bending over under a command of a masked man. Another photo showed men flat on their stomachs on a dirt road while masked men were pointing guns at them.
"This is the fate of the Shi'ites which Nuri brought to fight the Sunnis," one photo caption said.
Although the captured men were to be seen wearing civilian clothes, the militants boast that they were soldiers. The information has yet to be verified as of press time.
The Twitter account from which these photos were being uploaded was suspended by Sunday.
The most harrowing photo showed a blood-spattered body faced down on a dirt track. Two men who seemed to be militants were standing over the body.
The Iraqi forces that were deployed Sunday reported to have killed 279 militants in 24 hours as announced by Prime minister Nuri al-Maliki's security spokesman, Lieutenant General Qassem Atta during a press conference.
The Iraqi forces were deployed after US secretary of state John Kerry said that the aid from US would only be successful if Iraqi leaders will work together.
The Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade expressed strong condemnations against the ISIL - from the militants' takeover of Mosul and other areas of northwest Iraq to the militants' attack on the Turkish Consulate General in Mosul and the abduction of Turkish Consulate General's staff, families and other Turkish citizens.
"We have conveyed our support through Turkey's Ambassador, and join the international community in calling for their safety to be confirmed and their immediate release," Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.
The Australian Government also called for the unity of Iraqi leaders in addressing the violence and terror and to do all means in order to make international humanitarian assistance to affected communities possible.
"We continue to support the actions of the Government of Iraq to combat global terrorism, including in Anbar and Ninawa provinces. The Australian Government has listed ISIL as a terrorist entity. We express our deepest condolences for the loss of life in these attacks, and concern for the widespread displacement of Iraqis and damage to property. The Australian Government acknowledges the ongoing efforts of the Kurdistan Regional Government to extend humanitarian support to those displaced by ISIL aggression," Bishop added.
Bishop also strong urged Australians in Iraq to leave as soon as possible.
"The airport in Baghdad is still open. Commercial flights are still operating out of Baghdad. But if Australians must stay in Iraq, they must ensure that their personal circumstances and their security is absolutely safe, " Bishop said on Ten Network.