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

Soldiers were captured when militants stormed Tabqa airbase

Heather Saul
Friday 29 August 2014 16:45 BST
Young men in underwear being marched barefoot along a desert road before being allegedly executed by Isis
Young men in underwear being marched barefoot along a desert road before being allegedly executed by Isis (AFP)

Islamic State militants appear to have executed scores 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.

"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.

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.

Additional reporting by agencies

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