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New Al Nusrah Front video shows moments before mass execution of Syrian soldiers

The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda's official branch in Syria, has released a new video promoting the "liberation" of the Abu Duhour airbase in the Idlib province. The airbase was overrun by Al Nusrah and its allies in September after a lengthy siege.

The closing moments of the video highlight an episode that was reported on at the time. After taking control of the facility, Al Nusrah executed dozens of captured Syrian soldiers. The Assad loyalists were lined up in a row and shot in the head by masked jihadists from behind.

According to some accounts, the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), an al Qaeda-affiliated group, also took part in the killings. The TIP is known to have taken part in the battle at the airbase.

The Al Nusrah production ends before the execution is carried out, but it highlights the dramatic tension just beforehand. Similar to the Islamic State's snuff videos, the Syrian soldiers' faces are shown close up.

The men are clearly worried, as they know what awaits. Their executioners stand behind them, aiming their assault rifles. An Al Nusrah leader speaks, essentially proclaiming their death sentence.

Ayman al Zawahiri and other al Qaeda managers have prohibited their followers from producing the types of sadistic videos disseminated by their rivals in the Islamic State. The latest production comes close, however, making it clear that despite its attempts to portray itself as a comparatively moderate jihadist organization, al Qaeda remains brutal.

[Source: By Thomas Joscelyn, Threat Matrix, The Long War Journal, 25Nov15]

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small logoThis document has been published on 30Nov15 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.