On Wednesday, April 5, 2017, ISIS executed 33 people in Syria, and another 22 in Iraq, according to a Report by CNN. Members of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed the organization known for grisly, ruthless attacks on innocent civilians around the world executed its victims in the arid desert of al-Mayadin, a city of 45,000 in eastern Syria. Operatives from the monitoring group were able to observe the situation from a safe distance, reports state.

Reports indicate execution was the terror group's largest in 2017

According to the Observatory, which is headquartered in London, the slaughter was the largest execution ISIS has carried out this year.

The terror group, which has been known to employ techniques ranging from decapitating its victims to crushing their heads in with stone, supposedly killed the civilians (reports indicate some were as young as 18) with "sharp tools." It's possible that these tools were used to either stab or decapitate all 33. Sources aren't sure what made these people targets, but recent reports of ISIS killings have shown that the organization often picks its victims indiscriminately, relying on the media and analysts to try to give the acts some sort of meaning.

The killings in Syria and Iraq seemed to coincide

According to CNN, these claims coincided with a report from just a little over 7 hours away, in the small Iraqi city of Tikrit.

Iraqi police officials stated that about 10 would-be suicide bombers, dressed in military uniforms, randomly targeted Tikrit police patrols and checkpoints in the middle of a busy street. Reports also indicate the attackers used a police vehicle to enter the city, which more than likely quelled any initial suspicion. The report then mentioned that gunmen affiliated with the ISIS terror group opened fire on police and civilians alike, before blowing themselves up in a final act of martyrdom.

Sources say the gunmen were aiming at no one in particular, instead hoping to inflict the most damage possible. That attack killed 22, and critically wounded another 31. Among those bodies was 14 police officers. The rebel organization boasted about the attack in a statement via Twitter, showing its relative disregard for human life.

ISIS seems to choose targets randomly

These seemingly random killings have done a great deal in mystifying what ISIS stands for. While most hate groups and terror organizations tend to have a particular modus operandi, ISIS militia groups have been known to change their tactics often. The fact that ISIS also seems to have no specifications for their victims also makes it increasingly hard for security officials to plan for and prevent potential attacks.

Although Tikrit is a town of only about 160,000, it holds historical significance for many ISIS devotees. CNN reports that it was the birthplace of notorious former Iraqi president and terrorist mastermind Saddam Hussein, who was hanged in 2006 by American troops in Baghdad.

ISIS took control of the strategic city in June of 2014, but Iraqi military personnel reclaimed it a little over a year later. Even under government control, however, sources indicate ISIS rebels still carry out occasional attacks.

ISIS has been losing ground in recent months

Reports indicate that the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has been steadily losing ground in the past months as Iraqi troops- with the aid of US forces and Shia and Kurdish militia- have worked to break down the organization little by little. Sources claim that in the last six months alone, the "caliphate" has forfeited significant control of the media, had several high-ranking operatives neutralized (including former leader al-Baghdadi), and lost a considerable amount of income.

At one point, sources claimed ISIS brought in as much as $1 million a day from its various oil enterprises, though that number has significantly dropped as it has lost control of strategic regions. As surrounding governments slowly but consistently close in on the group and experience pushback, attacks like these may become more and more frequent.