The Islamic State reportedly executed 33 people in eastern Syria on Wednesday, CNN.com reports.
The killings took place in the al-Mayadin desert near the city of Deir Ezzor.
The initial report came from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which said that the terrorist group carried out the executions with sharp tools.
Those executed were between the ages of 18 and 25. The human rights group noted that this mass killing was “the largest execution operation carried out by the Islamic State organization in 2017."
The identities of the victims is not known. They could be Syrian government forces or members of a rebel faction.
On the same day, Islamic State forces also killed 22 people in the Iraqi city of Tikrit. Gunmen reportedly opened fire on police and civilians before blowing themselves up in the suicide attack. There were also 31 people injured.
CNN.com notes that the Islamic State gained control of a wide swath of land in the Middle East in 2014 in an attempt to establish their caliphate. Now, however, their influence is waning, due to the efforts of Iraqi and Syrian troops, as well as pressure from the international community.
The Islamic State still maintains control of Mosul, Iraq, but Iraqi troops, aided by Shia and Kurdish militia, have been making inroads into retaking the city.
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Publication date: April 6, 2017