The Islamic State in its al-Naba newspaper claimed responsibility for setting fire to hundreds of acres of agricultural land across Iraq and Syria, encouraging its followers to continue the sabotage of "apostate" crops during the harvest season.
In an article titled "Roll Up Your Sleeves and Begin the Harvest — May Allah Bless What You Reap," the group said the arson was in retaliation for what it claims Shiite and "apostate" forces did to Sunni homes and farmlands in areas formerly under ISIS.
"It looks like it will be a hot summer, burning the pockets and hearts of rejecters and apostates who have been burning Muslims and their homes over the past years," the group said in its 183rd issue of al-Naba online newspaper that was published Thursday.
The term "rejecter" or "al-Rawafidh" is historically applied by some extremist Sunnis to refer to Shiites, while "apostate" or "al-Murtad" is used against those Muslims who are accused of heresy.
In the article, ISIS said it was behind the farmland scorches in predominantly Kurdish territories across Kirkuk, Diyala, Ninawa and Salahuddin provinces in Iraq and al-Hasakah province in Syria. It claimed the fire was "just the beginning" and that it had burned hundreds of acres of wheat and barley fields.
"And the season of harvest is still long. We tell the soldiers of the caliphate, you have before you millions of acres of land planted with wheat and barley, belonging to apostates, and you have before you their plantations, fields and homes, as well as their economic foundation. So roll up your sleeves and begin the harvest. May Allah bless what you reap," ISIS told its followers.
Source: Voice of America.