Syria rebel group lines up captive Isis fighters in mock execution video - then jails them instead

Propaganda video from Levant Front claims the group deals with its prisoners with 'justice', saying 'Muslims are not criminals' 

File: A rebel fighter fires his gun against a Syrian government troop position in the Bustan al-Basha area of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo
File: A rebel fighter fires his gun against a Syrian government troop position in the Bustan al-Basha area of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo

A video has been released purporting to show a Syrian rebel group lining up Isis fighters in preparation for mass execution – only to spare them at the last minute and jail them instead.

In what appears to be a new development in the propaganda war between the various parties in Syria, fighters from the Levant Front rebel coalition are seen in footage mimicking the style of Isis’s own videos.

At the start of the film, alleged Isis fighters ranging in age from 15 to 27 are shown sat in dark rooms, wearing orange jumpsuits and “confessing” – in much the same way many of the group’s own execution videos begin.

A video purports to show Syrian rebels preparing to execute Isis fighters - then jailing them for their crimes instead

The "captives" are then brought outside and lined up to be shot – only for their supposed executioners to put away their guns and throw off their masks.

A message flashes up on the screen declaring “Muslims are not criminals”, and the video clearly implies that after a sermon, the captives are locked up in prison as “fair dealing” for their crimes.

The 'captives' were later shown apparently in jail - though what really happened to them is unknown

The claims made in the video cannot be independently verified, and in particular it is not known what actually happened to the alleged Isis captives once the cameras were turned off.

It is also worth noting the Levant Front itself, otherwise known as Jabhat al-Shamiyya, is an Islamist group committed to a Syrian state governed under Sharia law.

While it comprises a mix of groups - including 2,500 fighters who would be regarded as “moderate” rebels in the eyes of the international community - its leader is a member of the conservative Ahrar al-Sham, a movement which US diplomats are banned from dealing with.

The Levant Front is keenly aware of the value of international propaganda to its cause, and claimed credit for securing the freedom of British mother Shukee Begum after she fled Isis earlier this year.

And it seems to have worked. Though shunned by the US, Ahrar al-Sham does have representatives at the talks in Saudi Arabia aimed at bringing together opposition factions to form a more united front against the Assad regime and Isis.

Talks began today, with the ultimate goal of producing a united delegation for a peace summit with the Syrian government from the start of January.

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