The Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group that is fighting Bashir al Assad’s regime in Syria, has released two photographs of the execution of Syrian soldiers reportedly captured in Aleppo [one of the photographs is reproduced above]. The soldiers were “from the Hanano barracks” according to the statement that was released by the group. The short statement was released on Sept. 3 and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group on Oct. 3.
The photos of the execution are eerily similar to video footage of al Qaeda in Iraq’s execution of Iraqi policemen in Haditha in March 2012. In that video, the captured Iraqi policemen are tied up and placed in a line. An al Qaeda fighter then walks down the line and executes the policemen with a pistol. To watch the video of the Haditha executions, see LWJ report, Al Qaeda in Iraq video details deadly raid in Haditha.
Al Nusrah’s tactics, operations, and propaganda are nearly identical to those of al Qaeda in Iraq. Al Nusrah has now claimed credit for 26 of the 33 suicide attacks that have taken place in Syria since December 2011. The Syrian terror group conducts complex suicide assaults, ambushes, IED attacks, and assassinations. Just as al Qaeda in Iraq rails against the Shia, Al Nusrah says its attacks are directed against the Nusayri, or Alawite, enemy. Alawites are a sect of Shia Islam, and President Assad’s regime is supported by Iran.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.