Russian-speaking jihadists execute Syrians in Aleppo


Russian jihadists seconds before they execute Syrians in Aleppo. Click the image to view the video at the Syrian Center for Documentation’s Facebook page. Warning: the video is extremely graphic.

A video of jihadists executing a group of Syrians in the city of Aleppo has emerged. The execution is carried out by Russian-speaking fighters, and one of those to be killed was said to be mentally ill.

The graphic video was published today on the Facebook page of a group known as the Syrian Center for Documentation. The group claimed that civilians, including children, were among those killed. Although the date and exact location of the execution has not been disclosed, the Syrian Center for Documentation indicated that it took place in Aleppo.

In the video, a number of well-armed fighters are seen moving civilians into a large room. A group of young and middle-aged males appears arranged in a line, while others are huddled in small groups or are being moved around the room. Some of the captives are flex-tied. Lying on the floor of the room are the bodies of several men who appear to have been executed.

The fighters speak in Russian, according to a translation of the video by Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Boris Zilberman.

“They spoke pretty decent Russian … better than some of the folks that you can usually find on Kavkaz Center,” Zilberman said, referring to one of the propaganda arms of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate.

The fighters seem eager to proceed with the execution, while the cameraman is concerned about the angle he should use to film it.

“Come on, come on, what about this injured?” one of the fighters says.

“Should I film from the front or back?” the cameraman asks. He decides to film from the rear.

Seven men are lined up, kneeling on the ground. One of the fighters walks behind the men, and buttstrokes each of the men in the back of the head. A group of fighters then lines up and opens fire, killing the men.

After shooting the men, one of the fighters asks, “Whose phone is this?” and then walks over to a fighter in military fatigues and a helmet who appears to be the group’s leader.

“This is what happens to those that fight against Islam,” the fighter says to the leader. The leader then points to a man on the ground who appears to be still alive, and orders the men to shoot him again.

Just before the execution, one of the men who about to be killed says in Arabic that another in the group is “Darwish,” a term used locally to describe the mentally ill, according to the Syrian Center for Documentation. The jihadists do not respond. It is unclear if the mentally ill man was among those seen killed in the video.

Jihadists from the Russian Caucasus are known to fight in both the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) and the Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, which is al Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria.

There is controversy over which group carried out the execution, and when it took place. The Syrian Center for Documentation reported that the ISIS carried out the execution, and that the video was shot recently in the village of Hretan just north of Aleppo.

Others claimed that the execution was carried out by an Al Nusrah Front unit commanded by a Chechen known as Abu Muslim al Shishani, and that it took place 10 months ago. Abu Muslim is said to have fought alongside Ibn Khattab, the famed Saudi jihadist who led al Qaeda’s International Islamic Brigade in Chechnya before he was assassinated by Russian forces in 2002.

Omar al Shishani is the overall commander of the Caucasus jihadists who fight in the ranks of the ISIS. Al Shishani received permission from Doku Umarov, the emir of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Caucasus Emirate, to join the ISIS.

Omar’s forces often serve as the ISIS’ shock troops, and his unit functions as the vanguard for the ISIS.

The ISIS has been denounced by al Qaeda’s General Command for failing to resolve its dispute with the Al Nusrah Front, the Islamic Front, and other rebel groups. The ISIS rules with a heavy hand and refuses to cooperate with the other jihadist groups to resolve disputes. The dispute caused a large group of Chechens to break ranks with the ISIS and join the Al Nusrah Front.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Birbal Dhar says:

    I’m guessing they are Muslims from the Russian Caucasus. Although it is difficult to say, unless someone can speak Russian fluently and could recognise which accents they are from ?

  • desire says:

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
    Islam is a belief system rife with hatred and intolerance. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Marco Polo noted Muslims never respected other people’s beliefs, rights, borders or properties. In fact, the Koran encourages Muslims to take whatever possessions the infidel (non-believer) have and to slaughter them wholesale.
    What is so discouraging is that this pattern of intolerance and inhumane slaughter has not abated and in fact is alarmingly increasing throughout every corner of the world today.
    You cannot reason with people that possess a petrified opinion and that stand fast and perpetrate barbaric acts on other. They subscribe to an ideology of hatred and intolerance for all others.
    How many execution videos do we have to witness before good people take a cohesive stand against these monsters?

  • Reader says:

    This video is from, at the latest around October of last year.

  • prashanth says:

    The Jihadi’s may or may not be Russians because only one of them spoke in Russian language.We cannot actually assume all others to be Russians.And the one who is speaking Russian language may be trying to mislead that he was a Russian.We should think on either sides as it is a serious issue.

  • Thomas says:

    I can confirm – living in Poland close to the Russian Empire – that the language we could hear in this awful video is a Russian one, of Caucasian/Asian type. This is a simple kind of language – not a poetic/literature one. An accent & pronunciation is the Caucasian one, I have no doubt on it!
    These people came from the Russian Caucasus, probably from Chechnya or Dagestan.

  • Shishan says:

    There are two voices briefly speaking with Georgian kistin accents in Arabic . The Russian speakers are NOT Chechens. Probably other Caucasians. No word of Chechen is spoken in this clip

  • GR says:

    Butchers + cowards= Jihadists.

  • Mark Rcca says:

    I speak good Russian, but not familiar with local dialects, so wouldn’t be able to pinpoint where these guys are from. They don’t seem like ethnic Russians, so yeah, they’re probably of the Muslim ethnicities living within Russia.
    The dialogue is harrowing. You hear things like, “so, should we do it from the front or from the back?”, “what about this sick one?”, “let me shoot one”, “get that one in the orange, they’re still moving”. You can hear many of the men speaking Russian, and not only the one that seems to be close to the camera (maybe the cam operator). I hear some non-Russian language as well, sounds Arabic but I don’t know it so I can’t say for sure.

  • Mark R says:

    re: desire
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
    In that case, we should consider helping out Assad and suppress the rebellion. I know, he is not the most democratic guy in the world, but he’s no worse than many of the other dictators in the middle-east. I don’t think that he’s worse than the current government of Egypt, for example. But, he stands against, and suppresses this radicalist insanity, so maybe he’s the lesser of the evils.

  • rusty says:

    @Mark R
    No, just no. You are an absolute fool if you think Assad is the lesser of these two evils. Have you heard of what happened in Houla? Type it into Google if not, its the first result. That is simply one of the most notorious examples of the depths of evil of this genocidal regime, there are hundreds of other examples.
    Furthermore these monsters in the video were able to hijack the revolution to a certain extent because the regime allowed them to metastasize in Syria for the better part of the last decade. They were seen as a useful proxy against US forces in Iraq. Type in Assef Shawkat into the search LWJ part of this site, that should provide all of the evidence of how the Assad regime views the Jihadi factions: they are a tool for them and their cover narrative for wholesale slaughter of innocents. Even today the regime is still playing a double game with al-Qaeda, because fools around the world buy the idea that the regime is truly invested in fighting terrorism and that the rebellion is one homogeneous group of terrorists. They fight the jihadi elements to an extent to protect their narrative, while simultaneously releasing their best and brightest from prison. They allow the Islamic State to set up institutions and control turf without harassment, while they bomb to oblivion Free Syrian Army positions.
    I won’t even touch on the idea that the Egyptian military regime is worse than the Assad clan and their allies, that’s a whole other nonsensical issue.
    All I have to ask is would you support Stalin because he fought fascists? Hitler because he fought the Soviets? Probably not. The only sensible US positions in this conflict are to either stay out of it aside from humanitarian aid or to support the moderates predominantly in the south and to a lesser extent the north, in addition to said aid to refugees in and out.

  • jeff says:

    Horrible Horroble that this day and age these monsters can not only commit these heneous crimes, but they are so proudly able to broadcast them to the entire world. we are all part of this crime if we dont do anything to stop this madness. Please stand up and write to world leader so to eliminate these terrorist now. For the sake of removing one person, world and arab states specially supporting the slaughter of these innocents by supplying weapons and unlimited support to these so called rebels. How come we are also part of this with our own tax money. We must stop this!!!


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