Syria: Armed group carries out summary killing of security forces in Idlib
New video evidence emerged on Thursday which appears to show an armed group in Syria’s Idlib province carrying out a mass summary killing of men in their custody. In the footage – which is reported to be from a checkpoint near Saraqeb in Idlib province – at least 10 men, who some believe are captured members of the security forces, are beaten and kicked before members of the armed group open fire on them. It is unknown how many were killed in the incident, but media outlets and a Syrian NGO have suggested that at least 28 died. Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director, said: “This shocking footage depicts a potential war crime in progress, and demonstrates an utter disregard for international humanitarian law by the armed group in question. “Amnesty International has so far been unable to confirm the identity of the armed group that carried out these summary killings, and no group has yet claimed responsibility. But we will continue to investigate the incident and once again urge all sides to respect the laws of war and to refrain from torturing, ill-treating or killing their prisoners.” A recent Amnesty International report noted a sharp rise in Syrian government forces’ use of extrajudicial and summary executions against civilians as well as members of armed groups including the Free Syria Army. The report cited a number of occasions where hand-bound bodies were discovered near the Air Force Intelligence headquarters in Aleppo.