Isis affiliate cuts down tree in Syria over fears locals were worshipping it

One man who fled the area said the Khaled ibn al-Walid Army had treated civilians under its control without mercy, beheading dissenters, locking smokers in cages and amputating thieves' hands 

Wednesday 16 August 2017 11:10 BST
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An Isis affiliate operating in Syria’s southwest has cut down a tree because it believed locals were worshipping it instead of Allah.

Pictures and video widely shared on jihadist social media channels on Tuesday taken by the affiliated Khalid bin Walid Army showed a huge tree which they had decided to destroy because it was “polytheistic”.

In the pictures, two men clambered up into its highest branches and attacked it with a small chainsaw.

The incident is not even the first time Isis extremists have turned their wrath on trees
The incident is not even the first time Isis extremists have turned their wrath on trees

No photos of the felled tree were published, presumably because the job took quite a long time.

The Khalid ibn al-Walid Army is a force of between 1,000 - 1,500 men which controls a small strip of territory near the Golan Heights.

It were formed last year after a merger of three smaller groups, all of which had already pledged allegiance to Isis.

Under the group’s brutal interpretation of Sharia law, praying to any god but Allah is punishable by death
Under the group’s brutal interpretation of Sharia law, praying to any god but Allah is punishable by death

Under the group’s brutal interpretation of Sharia law, praying to any god but Allah is punishable by death.

They have controlled the civilian population under their control ruthlessly, killing people in execution-style beheadings for minor infringements of their rules.

Smokers have been locked in cages and thieves had their hands amputated for their alleged crimes, according to one man who fled the area.

Footage shows Isis schoolgirl Linda Wenzel being captured in Iraq

The incident is not even the first time Isis extremists have turned their wrath on trees.

A 150-year-old oak tree in Atma, northern Syria, which stood next to an ancient shrine, was cut down in 2013 after Isis accused the locals of worshipping it instead of God. The group’s black flag was put in its place.

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