SOHR identifies 120 executions for ‘exceeding the limits of religion’; most of whom are thought to be foreign fighters attempting to return home. The Islamic State had also executed 502 soldiers fighting for President Bashar al-Assad and 81 anti-Assad insurgents. It beheaded two US journalists, and one American and two British aid workers .The militant group has taken vast parts of Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate in territory. In response, the U.S.-led coalition launched 18 air strikes against Islamic State on Monday, including 12 in Syria and six in Iraq. The United States started sending (non-operational) troops to Iraq in the midsummer of 2014, and began a large-scale air campaign over the region starting that August.