DAMASCUS: Islamic State (IS) militants killed more than 150 of the troops captured in recent fighting in northeastern Syria. It is the latest mass killing attributed to the extremists, activists said. The troops were either shot or slashed with knives.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said many soldiers killed were rounded up on Wednesday in the arid countryside near the Tabqa airfield, three days after IS fighters seized the base. A statement posted online and circulated on Twitter by IS supporters claimed the extremists killed “about 200” government prisoners captured near Tabqa. It also showed photographs of those it said were the prisoners: Young men stripped down to their underwear marching in the desert.
43 UN peacekeepers detained
In southern Syria, the United Nations said gunmen detained 43 of its peacekeepers during fighting on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, adding another 81 were trapped in the area by the heavy clashes between rebels and Syrian troops.
The US accused Al Nusra Front of detaining peacekeepers. “The US condemns the detention of UN peacekeepers and violence targeting the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights by non-state armed groups, including UN Security Council-designated terrorist group Al Nusra Front,” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
THE GUARDIAN / AFP