Al-Qaeda Releases Video Executing at Least 12 ‘Pro-Govt’ Syrians

Says Executions Were Punishment for Offensive NW of Damascus

by Jason Ditz, July 20, 2016

Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, has released a new video showing the execution of at least 12 people identified as pro-government Syrians, claiming they were killed as punishment for the military’s advance into Harira Village.

Syrian forces had reportedly been shelling Harira from a nearby peak for several days, before finally going into the village today. It was unclear if Nusra actually held the village in the first place, or if it was some other rebel groups allied with them.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had reported a previous video from Nusra showing 14 captives, with one reading a prepared statement asking the government not to enter Harira, and warning that all the detainees would be killed if they did.

Though the US has long objected to Russia and the Syrian government attacking Nusra, they have recently expressed concern that the group is a “global threat.” Despite this change in attitude, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Russia to use its influence to stop Syrian attacks on all rebels, including Nusra.

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