- Men paraded through crowds in Syrian city before being shot by militants
- One accused of working for Assad, the other for Kurdistan Workers’ Party
- Aleppo is centre of brutal power struggle between government and rebels
- Kurds recently claimed ISIS were planning an attack on a city in north east
Blindfolded and forced to their knees before a baying crowd, two alleged spies are executed by the Islamic State – each with a bullet in the back of the head.
The men were paraded through the Syrian city of Aleppo with their hands tied behind their backs before being thrown to the ground and shot dead by ruthless militants.
One was reportedly accused of spying for Syrian President Bashar al Assad, the other for the opposition Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Last month, Kurdish officials claimed ISIS militants were preparing for an attack on a city in north east Syria, near the border with Iraq, where the terror group remains a significant threat despite recent setbacks elsewhere in the two countries.
Images of the executions were shared on Twitter by anti-ISIS activists Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently who risk their lives leaking atrocities from within Iraq and Syria.
Hasaka province in north east Syria is strategically important for all sides and borders ISIS-held territory in Iraq, where the group is back on the offensive after losing Tikrit earlier this month.
The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia has recorded significant victories against ISIS this year, driving it from the town of Kobane at the Turkish border and then taking two towns in Hasaka province with the help of a U.S.-led air campaign.
But ISIS remains a danger, said Redur Xelil, YPG spokesman. Its targets include the provincial capital, Hasaka city, and the town of Tel Tamr, to the northwest.
Hasaka is home to many Syrians who have fled areas further west, including the country’s second city Aleppo, Xelil said.
The Syrian Observatory, which monitors the Syrian civil war, reports daily clashes between the YPG and ISIS fighters near Tel Tamr, and clashes between the Syrian military and ISIS in areas west and east of Hasaka city.
The YPG has emerged as the only partner for the U.S.-led alliance bombing ISIS in Syria.
But its effectiveness is greatly diminished beyond areas where the Kurds have set up autonomous zones since Syria’s conflict erupted in 2011.
The United States, rejecting any partnership with President Bashar al-Assad against ISIS, is about to launch a programme to train and equip members of the mainstream Syrian opposition in order to fight the jihadists elsewhere.
Xelil said the YPG had not been consulted on the programme, adding that its requests for military supplies remained unmet.
Once Syria’s economic powerhouse, Aleppo has been split between regime control in the west and rebel control in the east.
As a result, it has been the centre of widespread human rights abuses by Syrian government forces and insurgents in the fiercely contested city.
In a new report, Amnesty International sharply condemned the government’s reliance on barrel bombs against rebel-held neighborhoods, saying they have killed more than 3,000 civilians there last year, and more than 11,000 in the country since 2012.
Insurgent groups also committed abuses in Aleppo by using imprecise weapons such as mortars and improvised rockets against government-held neighbourhoods, killing at least 600 civilians in 2014, the report said.
The latest executions also come days after ISIS published chilling video that appears to show a boy executing an alleged Iraqi spy.
Slickly edited footage shows the teenager, of Western appearance, loading a 9mm handgun as the prisoner is driven into a warehouse by a group of masked militants.
The boy, believed to be around 14 years old, forces him to kneel on the ground and removes his blindfold before making a statement in Arabic vowing to avenge the U.S., Russia and Europe.
He then crouches next to the victim, raises his gun to his head and appears to shoot him three or four times. The victim collapses to ground in a pool of blood.
But the boy is never seen in the same frame when the fatal shots are fired, raising suspicions the video has been carefully edited to make it appear as if he was the executioner when in fact the gun was fired by an adult.
Similar tactics are believed to have been employed by the terror group in a video earlier this year when a boy of similar age appeared to execute an suspected Israeli spy.
Experts had questioned whether the boy, thought to be about ten, was really the person who pulled the trigger, supposedly murdering Muhammad Said Ismail Musallam with a single gunshot.
It also raises the disturbing possibility that young boys are increasingly being groomed to become the next generation of Jihadi Johns, the British ISIS fighter charged with carrying out the most high-profile executions for the terror group.
source : dailymail.co.uk