|An ISIS terrorist believed to be Hayat Boumeddiene,|
who is wanted by French authorities for the Charlie Hebdo attack.
(photo credit:ARAB SOCIAL MEDIA)
The beheadings took place in the eastern Deir al-Zor province this week said Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the conflict using sources on the ground.
One of the women was beheaded along with her husband in Deir al-Zor city. In al-Mayadeen city to the south east, the group beheaded another woman and her husband. All of them were accused of sorcery, the monitor said.
Islamic State has beheaded local and foreign men in Syria, including enemy combatants, aid workers and journalists as well as people it has deemed as violating its hard-line interpretation of Islamic law.
Several of the group's female captives have been stoned to death previously after being accused of adultery and other offenses. This is the first time it was reported to have beheaded female civilians.
Abdel-Rahman, said the two female civilians and their husbands, killed in the city of Mayadin, appear to have been accused after the group found them in possession of charms.
The use of amulets, charms and other folk religious practices is common in parts of Syria, particularly in the countryside.
The charms are often written on a piece of paper sewn into fabric, and are intended to protect the recipient against bad luck or jealousy, or solve and prevent other problems.
But the practice is considered heretical and a form of “witchcraft” by ISIS, which imposes its harsh interpretation of Islam on the areas under its control.
Islamic State also "crucified" five men in al-Mayadeen for eating during daylight hours of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the Observatory said.
They were hung up by their limbs on the city wall and children were encouraged to mock them as they suffered, it added.
Activists say Islamic State uses such public punishments in areas where it is present to control the local population through coercion and fear.