Five Islamic State (Isis) fighters had their tongues cut out by their own commanders after they tried to flee the besieged city of Fallujah, according to reports. A military operation to liberate the city, roughly 40 miles west of Baghdad, began on 23 May with up to 100,000 citizens still trapped in the city with some having to crawl through sewage to leave.

On 25 May the United Nations (UN) expressed concerns about the civilians trapped in the town of Fallujah as the villages on the outskirts are purged of jihadi fighters. Many inside the city have faced food and medicine shortages while the prices of essential items have gone up.

Now, as the jihadi fighters face mounting pressure from US-led air strikes, the Iraqi army hopes to completely surround the city in a few days. As the assault on Fallujah intensifies the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have begun an operation to retake the Daesh (Isis) de-facto capital of Raqqa in Syria.

Isis took control of Fallujah in January 2014, six months before it established its so called caliphate and it is the longest held city by the terrorist group. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an aid group working with displaced refugees in Iraq, reported that only 17 families had fled Fallujah since Sunday night — with fears they could be used as human shields by the militants.

In a report by, which has not been independently verified by IBTimes UK, an anonymous source explained the shocking punishment. "ISIS terrorist gangs cut the tongues of five of its members who tried to flee from the city after being sentenced by the so-called ISIS Sharia Court".

They added: "ISIS committed this crime in public in front of its members and citizens".

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) believe 125 families, about 750 individuals, have fled in the past two days. Becky Bakr Abdullah, an NRC spokeswoman told the Daily Mail: "There is no information for civilians about safe exits. There is also the fear of being killed for attempting to flee".

Iraq Fallujah Isis Daesh
Pro-government forces flash the victory sign as they advance on Fallujah Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP