'Rebels' execute Syrian soldiers in shock new video
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In another grisly video from Syria, fighters claiming to belong to the al Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front executed 11 Syrian soldiers. The video was published online Thursday, just days after a video of a rebel mutilating a dead body sparked outrage.
Fighters claiming to be with the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front in Syria executed 11 men they accused of taking part in massacres by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, a video published on Thursday appeared to show.
A man whose face was covered in a black balaclava shot each man in the back of the head as they kneeled, blindfolded and lined up in a row in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor.
“The sharia court for the eastern region in Deir al-Zor has sentenced to death these apostate soldiers that committed massacres against our brothers and families in Syria,” the executioner said on the video.
Islamist militants with black flags shouted “God is great” as each man was shot. The executioner returned to some victims, firing more bullets into them to make sure they were dead.
The video is the second in two days to show such executions by fighters who say they are from al Qaeda-linked groups.
A video posted online on Wednesday from the northern province of Raqqa, which is controlled by Islamist rebels, showed three blindfolded men sitting on the curb of a central roundabout before being shot in the head with a pistol.
A man speaking in the video said the executions were revenge for killings in the coastal town of Banias two weeks ago. Photos and videos of the alleged Banias massacre showed dozens of mutilated bodies, many of them children, lying in the streets.
In the most shocking recent footage, rebel commander Abu Sakkar, known to journalists and revered by many rebels, was shown in a video on Sunday cutting organs out of a dead soldier, addressing the camera as he ripped the flesh: "I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers," he warned President Bashar al-Assad's forces as his men cheered.
Videos of executions and torture have become increasingly common in Syria, where more than 94,000 people have been killed in a conflict now in its third year, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition monitoring group.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius pressed the United Nations last week to blacklist Syria’s al-Nusra Front as a terrorist organisation, in an effort to set the militant Islamist group apart from other more moderate opposition forces in the country.
The UN Security Council has already looked informally at whether to impose sanctions on al-Nusra after it swore allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri last month.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)