Syria Video Feature: Abu Umar’s Chechens Involved in Mass Killing of Syrian Soldiers at Tabqa Airbase

Since last summer, there have been accusations that Chechen factions of the Islamic State, led by Umar al-Shishani, have been involved in mass killings, kidnappings, and other abuses. For example, Human Rights Watch, citing witnesses, said the jihadists were involved in the deaths and abductions of civilians in Latakia Province last August.

Now, for the first, video evidence puts a Chechen group of the Islamic State at the scene of the crime, in this case the mass killing of Syrian soldiers after the jihadist capture of Tabqa Airbase in Raqqa Province 10 days ago.

See Syria Daily, August 29: The Islamic State’s Mass Execution of Assad Troops Near Raqqa

Complementing other images of the Islamic State’s executions, the videos — translated and described by Joanna Paraszczuk on her blog From Chechnya to Syria — are of the Al Aqsa jamaat, who were involved in the week-long final offensive against Tabqa.

The Russian-speaking fighters stand in front of Syrian troops, stripped to their underwear and forced to lie face down on the ground.

WARNING — Graphic Images:

The media unit of Al Aqsa has also distributed a longer video of the jihadists inside the airbase, declaring, “You should really come here…and see what’s going on. What we are fighting for here — in order to establish Sharia.”

As he shoots at the Syrian soldiers, another Chechen says he will demonstrate how he is “raising the word of Allah”.

WARNING — Graphic Images:

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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