On March 4, 2013, ‘rebel’ groups overran government forces in al-Raqqa city, the first provincial capital and only urban center to fall to the armed groups since the start of the Western-backed insurgency in Syria.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, “al-Raqqa serves as an important test case for how the opposition will administer territory that they seize from Assad.”
This footage, from a public square in al-Raqqa, shows the execution of three Alawite men in retaliation for alleged crimes by pro-regime militia in other parts of Syria. The group carrying out the executions is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (an Al Qaeda organisation) of which the al-Nusra front is a part. Most ‘rebel’ groups in Syria declared support for Al-Nusrah on the occasion of it being declared a terrorist group by the US State Department.
Viewer discretion advised – public execution
The execution of these men on the basis of their ethnic/religious identity is a war crime. Weapons smuggled into Syria by countries such as Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, reportedly under CIA supervision, inevitably make their way (either directly, by way of purchase or confiscation) to these sectarian extremists who use them to terrorise the people of Syria.
This video follows on from the recently disclosed video of a Syrian ‘rebel’ commander indulging in cannibalism, a video which had been kept under wraps by Time magazine before being shown on a Syrian website, and underlines the message that western audiences need to protest their governments illegally financing and supporting the Syrian ‘rebels’ (many of whom are not actually Syrian) in their sectarian struggle.
It is time to end the experiment in seeing what governance in Syria will look like under sectarian / Al Qaeda rule, to stop arming the men of violence and to put the fate of Syria back in the hands of its own people.
Update 28/05/2013 An attempt was made by various media to suggest the men killed in this execution were Syrian Army or, as ABC put it “officers of the Syrian government.” There was never any evidence for this claim. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights declared yesterday 11.15 am : Raqqa province: An activist from Homs city has identified to the SOHR the identity of 2 of the 3 men publicly executed on 14/5/2013 by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham in Raqqah city. The 2 men are Mustafa al-Jani, a dentist by profession, and his nephew Iyad Nawfal, who was a teacher. They are civilians from the village of al-Ashrafiya, north Reef Homs, and they come from a Muslim Alawite background. They are not, as stated by others, officers in the Syrian army or in the armed forces in any way.