New Al Nusrah Front video shows moments before mass execution of Syrian soldiers

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.

According to some accounts, the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), an al Qaeda-affiliated group, also took part in the killings. The TIP is known to have taken part in the battle at the airbase.

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:

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

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9 Comments

  • loner says:

    executing the syrian soldiers has nothing to do with war thats out right cold blood thirsty murder. all these terrorist groups need the same they gave out thats the only way to stop all this. its a shame that death for these type of people is the only way to solve this type of problem. death to alqaeda,hamas,hezbollah and all the rest. God Bless Israel and the USA

  • Kevin Butler says:

    Any way you look at it, Al Qaeda, and it’s primitive offspring, whatever they like to be called, are just as cruel, vicious, and primal, if not lower, than ISIS. They are very disturbed people. I’d like to see them sit down with a little more intelligence than how to shoot a gun, or slit a throat, and go over human history. There are incidents in most of history that were horrifying, including, of course, Hitlers episode. It would be interesting to see their reactions when they realized that what they’re doing today puts all of those times in history to shame. If we don’t put all of them out of business soon, then we’re just showing stupidity……

  • Verneoz says:

    As the West sleeps and yawns, this scourge is spreading. Soon it will be our citizens being executed.

  • TRM says:

    Evidently competing with ISIS to see who is the most murderous.

  • What is the US policy (and strategy) towards al Qaeda in Syria?

    • A. N. says:

      Drop a bomb on them once every few weeks to keep up appearances. Meanwhile give the Saudis and Qataris TOW missiles to give to groups who will defect to al Qaeda eventually so they can destroy Syrian tanks because…I don’t know why.

      • Matthew Martin says:

        It is very messed up.
        Sometimes, I cannot decide if the USA and UK are on the right or the wrong side any more.

  • Nuraddin Abdullah says:

    This recalls the Russian’s murder of over 20,000 Polish Army Officers at Katyn in 1940. And the Russians fight ISIS and others in Syria because of their cruelty. The Turks, responsible for so many Armenian deaths, shoot down a Russian Su-24 for attacking the Turkomens while themselves bombing Kurds. It seems History is repeating itself faster every year.

  • Larry says:

    That becomes more and more strange. Al Nusra Cooperates with Ahrar el-Scham and Jaish al-Islam and these jihadist Groups are Part of the western backed Allianz by US,Turkey,Saudi Arabia,Qatar…

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis