The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a new video promoting the “liberation” of the Abu Duhour airbase in the Idlib province. The airbase was overrun by Al Nusrah and its allies in September after a lengthy siege.
The closing moments of the video highlight an episode that was reported on at the time. After taking control of the facility, Al Nusrah executed dozens of captured Syrian soldiers. The Assad loyalists were lined up in a row and shot in the head by masked jihadists from behind.
The Al Nusrah production ends before the execution is carried out, but it highlights the dramatic tension just beforehand. Similar to the Islamic State’s snuff videos, the Syrian soldiers’ faces are shown close up.
The men are clearly worried, as they know what awaits. Their executioners stand behind them, aiming their assault rifles. An Al Nusrah leader speaks, essentially proclaiming their death sentence.
Ayman al Zawahiri and other al Qaeda managers have prohibited their followers from producing the types of sadistic videos disseminated by their rivals in the Islamic State. The latest production comes close, however, making it clear that despite its attempts to portray itself as a comparatively moderate jihadist organization, al Qaeda remains brutal.
Below are images from the new video:
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.