[QODLink]
Middle East

Al-Qaeda-linked group 'kills' Aleppo captives

Activists say the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has killed people in their custody in northern Syria.

Last updated: 07 Jan 2014 05:41
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The last three days of rebel-on-rebel clashes have reportedly killed more than 120 people [AFP]

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has executed media activists, relief workers and other civilians that were held captive by the al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria's Aleppo, according to activists and a rebel fighter.

The prisoners, who were held in the ISIL detention centre in Qadi al-Askar district, were killed on Monday evening as clashes raged across Syria's opposition-held areas between the ISIL and several other rebel groups.

Activists circulated a photo of Maher Hasroumi, a Syrian media worker among the executed in Aleppo 

According to activist group the Local Coordination Committees, at least 50 were killed.

The opposition Syrian Journalists Association, in a statement, said its member identified the bodies of four staff belonging to the Syrian TV channel Shada Al Horriya who were kidnapped by ISIL in December.

Fighters from Liwaa al-Tawheed, a strong opposition battalion in Aleppo, said they heard gunfire and then saw bodies of 20 executed men in the courtyard.

"The courtyard is shared by both the headquarters of Liwaa al-Tawheed and ISIL in Qadi al-Askar. We are ISIL's neighbours there," a member of Liwaa al-Tawhid told Al Jazeera.

Since Friday, a broad coalition of moderates and Islamists opposed to President Bashar al-Assad have been seeking to drive ISIL - which is accused of kidnapping, torturing and killing rival rebels and civilians - from its strongholds in the north and east of Syria.

Three powerful rebel alliances launched what activists called a second "revolution", and have advanced quickly, expelling ISIL from checkpoints and bases across Aleppo, Idlib and Hama provinces.

The last three days of rebel-on-rebel clashes have killed more than 120 people, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The ISIL, whose leadership is based in Iraq and is made up of mostly foreign fighters, was initially welcomed by other rebel groups in their fight against Assad. However, tensions mounted as ISIL was accused of imposing a reign of terror in areas where it operated.

Battle for Raqqa

On Monday, rebels in northeastern Raqqa province managed to free 50 Syrian prisoners held by the ISIL, who are believed to be holding hundreds of prisoners, including foreign journalists.

Raqqa is the only provincial capital lost by the regime since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011.

The city later fell into the hands of ISIL, which joined the fight against the regime in last spring.

The Observatory said the main group besieging ISIL's Raqa headquarters is Al-Nusra Front, which is also affiliated with Al-Qaeda but is seen as less hardline and has long competed with ISIL to represent al-Qaeda in Syria.

ISIL has struck back, including with a car bombing at a rebel checkpoint in Darkush, Idlib that killed an unknown number of fighters on Monday.

Also on Monday, a 16-year-old ISIL suicide attacker detonated himself at a rebel checkpoint in Aleppo's Shaar neighbourhood , killing two opposition fighter and wounding several more.

The rebel side also committed abuses, executing two ISIL fighters and burning one of their bodies in the Haydariyeh district of Aleppo, "in front of neighbourhood residents", the Observatory said.

536

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
join our mailing list