Thursday 18 December 2014

YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'mass execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'

Heather Saul

Published 28/08/2014 | 22:33

Footage begins by showing dozens of men being marched through the desert with their hands behind their heads.

Islamic State militants appear to have executed dozens of captured Syrian soldiers, according to video footage posted on YouTube.

An Isis fighter confirmed the video’s authenticity to Reuters, saying: “Yes, we have executed them all.” It has not been independently verfied.

A statement posted online and circulated on Twitter by supporters of Isis claimed the extremists killed "about 200" government prisoners captured near the Tabqa air base.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the soldiers were captured when they attempted to flee the fallen air base in Raqqa. They put the death toll at 120.

Footage begins by showing dozens of men being marched through the desert with their hands behind their heads. A fighter repeatedly shouts out "Islamic State", to which the men reply "It shall remain".

The video later shows the bodies of dozens of men stripped to their underwear and lying face down on the floor. 

Displaced people, who fled from the violence in the province of Nineveh, arrive at Sulaimaniya province August 7, 2014. The United States began to drop relief supplies to beleaguered Yazidi refugees fleeing Islamist militants in Iraq, but there was no immediate sign on Friday of U.S. air strikes to halt the sweeping advance of Islamic State fighters. Picture taken August 7, 2014.  REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT MILITARY)
Displaced people, who fled from the violence in the province of Nineveh, arrive at Sulaimaniya province August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
Displaced people, who fled from the violence in the province of Nineveh, arrive at Sulaimaniya province August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
Displaced people, who fled from the violence in the province of Nineveh, arrive at Sulaimaniya province August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
Displaced people, who fled from the violence in the province of Nineveh, arrive at Sulaimaniya province August 8, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
Displaced people, who fled from the violence in the province of Nineveh, arrive at Sulaimaniya province August 8, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
Kurdish "peshmerga" troops stand guard during an intensive security deployment at the checkpoint at the entrance to Sulaimaniya province August 8, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
Displaced people, who fled from the violence in the province of Nineveh, arrive at Sulaimaniya province August 8, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
A member of the Kurdish peshmerga troops stands on a tank during an operation against Islamic State militants in Makhmur, on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh August 7, 2014. The United States began to drop relief supplies to beleaguered Yazidi refugees fleeing Islamist militants in Iraq, but there was no immediate sign on Friday of U.S. air strikes to halt the sweeping advance of Islamic State fighters. Picture taken August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT MILITARY)
A member of the Kurdish peshmerga troops stands on a tank during an operation against Islamic State militants in Makhmur, on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh August 7, 2014. The United States began to drop relief supplies to beleaguered Yazidi refugees fleeing Islamist militants in Iraq, but there was no immediate sign on Friday of U.S. air strikes to halt the sweeping advance of Islamic State fighters. Picture taken August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Kurdish peshmerga troops patrol in a tank during an operation against Islamic State militants in Makhmur, on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh August 7, 2014. The United States began to drop relief supplies to beleaguered Yazidi refugees fleeing Islamist militants in Iraq, but there was no immediate sign on Friday of U.S. air strikes to halt the sweeping advance of Islamic State fighters. Picture taken August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT MILITARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Kurdish peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Makhmur, on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Al-Karbala'i speaks as he delivers the text of a sermon by Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, during Friday prayers at the Imam Hussein shrine in the holy city of Kerbala August 8, 2014. REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammed
Kurdish peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Makhmur, on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
A member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces sit with a weapon during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Makhmur, on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

"The 250 shabeeha taken captive by the Islamic State [ISIS] from Tabqa in Raqqa have been executed," a caption posted with the video read. A separate pile of bodies can also be seen close by.

Read more: 'America does not forget' - Obama vows justice for Foley execution

The group also released photos purporting to show captured soldiers.

Isis, a radical offshoot of al Qaeda, stormed the Tabqa airbase on Sunday after days of clashes with the army and said it had captured and killed soldiers and officers in one of the bloodiest confrontations yet between the two sides.

The Syrian Observatory said 346 Isis fighters and more than 170 members of the security forces were killed during the battle.  About 1,400 people are believed to have been station at the air base. Seven hundred are thought to have escaped. 

(Independent.co.uk)

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