Things are looking increasingly grim for the cash-strapped Islamic State.
Last week we reported that as a result of the collapse of ISIS' oil trade with Turkey following the relentless bombing of its oil extraction and transportation infrastructure mostly Russian forces, the money inflows generated by the Islamic State have plunged. "In mid-2015, the Islamic State's overall monthly revenue was around $80 million" said Ludovico Carlino, senior analyst at IHS, which issues regular reports on IS-controlled territory. Carlino added that "as of March 2016, the Islamic State's monthly revenue dropped to $56 million."
While the collapse in oil trading has been the primary reason for this cash crunch, another reason is that the territory held by the organization has been drastically reduced as a result of recent military losses. According to IHS the IS group had lost about 22 percent of its territory in the past 15 months and now ruled over six million instead of nine million people.
This led to several media reports that in order to boost cash, ISIS was killing its wounded fighters and selling their organs in the black market.
This, in connection with the tide of war is turning against the Daesh, has led to a spike in fighter defections which has forced Islamic State authorities to take prompt measures to address the fallout and send an even stronger message to any future potential defectors. It did so in dramatic fashion by killing 45 of battlefield defectors in a gruesome way: by freezing them to death.
According Iraqi media agency Al Sumaria News, the 45 defectors attempted to flee the battlefield during recent fights in Iraq. They accused deserters were executed by being locked in morgue freezers in Mosul for 24 hours, left for a slow, presumably agonizing death. Their bodies were reportedly then stretched out along the sides of the road at city entrances to act as a warning to any other fighter who might have second thoughts.
This follows a comparably chilling message from last month when the Islamic State proudly released a sickening video showing two men being tied up in a building - which is then blown up. The harrowing footage - produced by the terror group's propaganda machine - shows the two clearly terrified men being interviewed before their horrifying death. The harrowing footage - produced by the terror group's slick propaganda machine - shows the two clearly terrified men being interviewed before their horrifying death.
The video, titled 'It does not benefit you to flee' was reportedly filmed on March 8 in Syria.
As Sputnik adds, Daesh chiefs have to resort to more brutal ways of inducing fear than before, as Iraqi government forces have been retaking major cities and slowly pushing the terrorists towards the Syrian border. Despite that, and government's continuous attempts to tighten the security in the capital, the militant group manages to explode explosive-rigged cars in the middle of Baghdad once in awhile, even targeting Shi'ite mosques.
The Islamic State is known for subjecting captives to horrific and elaborate execution methods, which it films them as part of its propaganda campaign. According to media reports and publicly available clips, their methods include drowning men in a cage in a swimming pool, strapping explosives to the heads of kneeling men connected by wires and burning hostages alive in cages.
It is now turning on its own.