BEIRUT (AFP) – Jihadists in the northern Syrian province of Raqa have accused a woman of adultery and stoned her to death, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday.
It was the first “execution” of its kind by the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, which has proclaimed the establishment of an Islamic “caliphate” straddling Syria and Iraq.
“The Islamic State carried out its first sentence of death by stoning against a woman in Tabaqa, accusing her of adultery,” said the Britain-based Observatory, referring to a town in Raqa province, most of which is under IS control.
An activist in the province confirmed the report, and said the stoning took place in a public square in Tabaqa on Thursday evening.
“This is the first time that this has happened here,” added Abu Ibrahim.
IS first emerged in the Syrian conflict in late spring last year.
Some Syrian rebels initially welcomed the jihadists, seeing them as potential allies in their war to topple President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
But the group’s systematic abuses and quest for domination swiftly turned the mainstream opposition against it, and rebels have been battling IS fighters since January.
IS spearheaded a recent offensive in Iraq, capturing large swathes of territory and massive amounts of weapons from fleeing Iraqi troops.