ISIS Claims It's on an Execution Spree in Syria

Rights group says up to 65 soldiers slaughtered; militants say 200

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 28, 2014 9:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Islamic State group has killed dozens of Syrian soldiers it captured after overrunning a military base in northeastern Syria, shooting some and using knives on others in the latest brutal mass killing attributed to the extremists, activists said today. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants rounded up the soldiers in the arid countryside yesterday near the Tabqa airfield, three days after seizing the base in heavy fighting. The government troops were among a large group of soldiers from the base who were stuck behind the front lines after the airfield fell to the jihadi fighters.

Observatory director Rami Abdurrahman said the extremists killed up to 65 soldiers. A statement posted online and circulated on Twitter by supporters of the Islamic State group claimed the extremists killed "about 200" government prisoners captured near Tabqa. It also showed photographs of what it said were the prisoners: young men stripped down to their underwear marching in the desert. The photos could not immediately be verified, but they correspond to other AP reporting.

A sign showing the direction and distance to cities stands as a metal board in the shape of a gunman at an observation point in Golan Heights, overlooking the border with Syria, on Aug. 28, 2014.
A sign showing the direction and distance to cities stands as a metal board in the shape of a gunman at an observation point in Golan Heights, overlooking the border with Syria, on Aug. 28, 2014.   (Ariel Schalit)
Israeli soldiers secure the area where a mortar fired from the Quneitra province after Syrian rebels clashed with President Assad’s forces on Aug. 27, 2014.
Israeli soldiers secure the area where a mortar fired from the Quneitra province after Syrian rebels clashed with President Assad’s forces on Aug. 27, 2014.   (Ariel Schalit)
Smoke rises following an explosion in Syria's Quneitra province as Syrian rebels clashed with President Assad’s forces.
Smoke rises following an explosion in Syria's Quneitra province as Syrian rebels clashed with President Assad’s forces.   (Ariel Schalit)
A UN peacekeeper observes Syria's Quneitra province at an observation point in the Golan Heights, overlooking the border with Syria, on Aug. 28, 2014.
A UN peacekeeper observes Syria's Quneitra province at an observation point in the Golan Heights, overlooking the border with Syria, on Aug. 28, 2014.   (Ariel Schalit)
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