SHAFAQNA –A man who was lined up in a firing squad by ISIS has described his incredible survival story after a gun-wiedling jihadi narrowly missed his head with the bullet.
Ali Hussein Kadhim, a Shiite Iraqi soldier, was one of hundreds abducted by the extremist group in Tikrit in June.
His Sunni colleagues were spared death, but Mr Kadhim was ordered to execution.
Playing dead: Ali Hussein Kadhim, 23, has identified himself (circled) in this footage released by ISIS of their ‘victims’ after abducting and murdering hundreds of Shiite Iraqi soldiers. Incredibly, Mr Kadhim survived
However, after shooting three Shiite soldiers in the back of the head, the assassin turned his gun on 23-year-old Mr Kadhim – and missed.
Instinctively, he fell forwards into the open grave dug for the victims of the murderous rampage.
It was a decision that would save his life.
Speaking to the New York Times, Mr Kadhim, who is married with one daughter, described the sensation of the bullet breezing past his temple.
He then spent three days on the run feeding off plants after waiting hours for his would-be killers to scarper.
‘I saw my daughter in my mind saying “Father, father”,’ he told the paper from his home in southern Iraq.
‘I just pretended to be shot’.
Horrific: The militant group has posted a number of slick images of them leading Iraqis to their deaths
Rampage: Islamic State fighters now hold land the equivalent size of the UK and control four million people
And after the group gloatingly released images of their victims lying face-down in the dirt, Mr Kadhim has managed to identify himself in the line-up.
ISIS released slickly produced footage of the siege in a disturbing way of marking Eid, the close of Ramadan, this year.
It shows prisoners being rounded up and summarily executed, suicide bombers boasting before blowing up buildings and Iraqis being gunned down in drive-by shootings.
In one of the most shocking passages, terrified prisoners are piled into the back of trucks, where they hold each other and huddle in fear before driven off to their deaths.
The 36-minute film then cuts to dozens of prisoners lying face down on the ground, hands bound behind their backs, waiting to be executed.
‘I wanted to live’: Mr Kadhim, who is now reunited with his daughter, said he kept thinking of his family
It is in that final shot that Mr Kadhim saw himself, trying to act lifeless with the blood of another soldier splattered across his face.
He is one of the only known survivors of the murderous rampage at the hands of Islamic State militants as they claimed Tikrit two months ago.
The group now holds a mass of land equivalent to the size of the UK, and controls an estimated four million people.
The siege in June was a key turning point in the group’s invasion of Iraq from Syria.