In 2014 in the Iraqi city of Tikrit, ISIS arrested Ali Hussein Kadhim, along with about 1,700 cadets in military schools.
2014 was the beginning of ISIS’s heyday before they were defeated by international coalition forces.
ISIS controls areas in Syria and Iraq, including Tikrit.
In this city, ISIS, among others, slaughtered cadets at the Speicher military school.
From this massacre, Kadhim is known to be the only cadet who escaped death.
On the day of the incident, ISIS militias came to the city and took control of the city of Tikrit. They head for the Speicher military academy.
Seeing ISIS take full control of the city, the military commanders in Speicher fled.
Being left behind by commanders and officers made thousands of cadets have to defend themselves.
Even though they have only been in a military school for a few days.
They didn’t have the ability to fight yet.
ISIS’s first action was to ask all cadets to leave the academy and take off their army uniforms.
“We walked hand in hand like ordinary citizens, civilians,” said Kadhim.
To these cadets, some ISIS militias said, “Welcome. [Don’t be afraid], we do have weapons, but we will not injure you.”
“Don’t worry, we only take you to the presidential palace.
There you will be sworn in never to become a soldier again, “said some ISIS militias.
Kadhim said several ISIS commanders were once part of Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Sunni cadets were sent home, but those who were known to embrace Shia were ordered to stay.
One militia said, “We will take revenge on Saddam Hussein. We will kill all of you.”
One day, the cadets were lined up somewhere. Kadhim could hear the sound of continuous and endless gunshots.
An ISIS militia approached and shot the cadets one by one. In this row, Kadhim is number four.
“They shot one by one,” said Kadhim.
The first shot sounded. Second shot. When the third shot barked, fresh blood splashed onto Kadhim’s body.
“I could feel the blood warm,” said Kadhim.
Then a gunshot was heard which should have been directed at Kadhim’s body. But the bullets did not hit his body.
“I don’t know where the bullets ran,” said Kadhim.
The executor came closer and kicked Kadhim’s body. “This man is still breathing,” said the executor.
“He’s alive, he’s still breathing,” he shouted.
But the executor commander said, “Leave it …”
“Let him suffer, let him bleed to death,” said the ISIS commander.
In fact, Kadhim actually doesn’t bleed.
He didn’t get shot.
“There was blood on my body, but it came from the cadets who were next to me,” said Kadhim.
He said he was in this place until night fell.
He could feel the cadets nearby who were dying.
“I don’t know how to survive in this situation,” he said.
The atmosphere is tense and scary.
That night, feeling safe, Kadhim saved himself.
“I will never forget that incident,” said Kadhim.
Later Kadhim learned that no less than 1,700 military cadets had died at the hands of ISIS militias.
So far only Kadhim is known to have escaped the massacre.