The Islamic State has created its own police force in Iraq with patrol cars, uniforms and even a jail as they continue to terrorise the country.
The force has been set up in Iraq’s north-west Nineveh province and according to a well-known militant Islamist website, their aims are to ‘implement the orders of the religious judiciary.’
Pictures seem to show armed members of the newly created force dressed in black clothing with the logo of the ‘Islamic Police Nineveh State’ printed on the arm.
The ‘officers’ also appear in freshly painted police cars and one photo showed militiamen on a riverboat.
Another picture appeared to show them standing guard outside a police station, although it is not clear when the police force was set up.
The website also adds that the force would ‘maintain order and arrest culprits and the corrupt’ and say they would be different from other state police forces, which they have described as ‘a tool to suppress dissent.’
Residents in Nineveh told have spoken of how the police’s main duty appears to be to detain people they consider opposed to their cause.
They say they have set up checkpoints on roads and conducted house raids.
It follows the militant group issuing an edict to change the school curriculum, scrapping classes in civics, history, fine arts and music.
ISIS took the Iraqi cities of Mosul, in Nineveh, and Tikrit in June and has announced an Islamic Caliphate in areas it controls in Iraq and Syria.
The news of the police force comes as France launched four airstrikes on northern Iraq killing dozen of ISIS fighters.
At the same time car bombs, some of them claimed by Islamic State, in the majority Kurdish city of Kirkuk in the north killed eight people, security sources said.
French President Francois Hollande said fighter jets ‘entirely destroyed’ the complex in what were France’s first airstrikes in Iraq after he agreed to bolster Baghdad’s offensive against the insurgency.
An Iraq military spokesman said four French airstrikes hit the town of Zumar, killing dozens of extremist fighters.
President Hollande also added Rafale jets hit ‘a logistics depot of the terrorists’ near the city of Mosul, which has been held by Islamic State for more than three months. It promised more operations in coming days.
The French military action, which follows U.S. air strikes in northern Iraq and near the capital Baghdad, appeared to win qualified endorsement from Iraq’s top Shi’ite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
In a Friday sermon, delivered by one of his aides, the elderly cleric acknowledged Iraq needed foreign help but said Iraq must not become subservient to outside powers.
‘Even if Iraq is in need of help from its brothers and friends in fighting black terrorism, maintaining the sovereignty and independence of its decisions is of the highest importance,’ Mr Sistani’s spokesman Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Karbala’i said.
(Two French Rafale fighter jets with GBU 12 bombs, Damocles laser and Mica missiles are seen during a mission over Iraq where they killed dozens of ISIS militants in strikes on a logistics depot)
The French military action, follows U.S. air strikes in northern Iraq and near the capital Baghdad
The announcement of the airstrikes came as experts said a dramatic change of tone in the latest hostage video released by the Islamic State shows the jihadist group is worried about becoming isolated and provoking a U.S. assault.
In the footage released yesterday, British photojournalist John Cantlie sits behind a desk and in a measured tone makes the case for Western powers to negotiate with his captors.
ISIS fighters have shocked the world with execution-style killings of Sunnis, Shi’ites, Christians, Yazidis and Kurds.
Western governments and Islamic countries fear their citizens who are fighting for Islamic State could threaten national security if they return home.
U.S. President Barack Obama has launched air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein urged world powers this month to protect women and minorities targeted by the group, saying its fighters were trying to create a ‘house of blood.’