UN: Al-Qaeda Executions in Syria May Be War Crimes

Mass Executions 'Deeply Disturbing'

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has warned that recent mass executions by al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) may amount to “war crimes,” particularly with reports of them mass executing prisoners at sites they were about to lose in Raqqa earlier this month.

AQI has been executing captives for months, of course, but as fighting with rival rebel factions has picked up there have been reports of summary executions by the scores several times a week.

Rival rebels that have taken AQI bases where prisoners were held have reported finding large numbers of recently executed people, suggesting AQI just executes people en masse rather than abandoning those sites.

The dead have included a number of civilians, including at least four journalists, but more recently the executions have centered around captured fighters for other factions, including rival al-Qaeda faction Jabhat al-Nusra.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.