Grisly footage has emerged of two Turkish soldiers being burned alive by the Daesh militant group in apparent retaliation for Turkish airstrikes on the northern Syrian town of Al-Bab that killed more than a dozen civilians, including children.
The almost 20 minute video which was uploaded to militant websites and disseminated over social media was purportedly shot near Al-Bab, not far from Aleppo.
The two victims, one of whom has been tentatively identified on Facebook as Fethi Sahin, are seen being pulled out of cages before being bound and set ablaze.
The soldiers’ executioner spoke angrily in Turkish as he addressed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, attacking him for his cooperation with “infidels” against the self-proclaimed Daesh “caliphate” and accusing Turkey of becoming a land of disbelief.
The brutal execution brings Turkey’s overall troop fatalities to 38 soldiers since Ankara launched “Operation Euphrates Shield” on 24 August to secure its border with Syria in cooperation with groups who are in opposition to President Bashar Al-Assad.
Daesh’s Amaq news agency also released footage yesterday of a captured Turkish but German-made Leopard 2A4 main battle tank, demonstrating that Turkey’s losses in Syria against Daesh are mounting.
Execution as retaliation for Turkish airstrikes
The shocking footage is reminiscent of Daesh’s execution of Jordanian Air Force pilot Muath Al-Kasasbeh in early 2015.
In a similarly grotesque and grisly film, Al-Kasasbeh was shown being led to a large cage while a being observed by rows of Daesh fighters flanking the path to his final holding place. He was then locked inside the cage, before being set alight.
At the time, the militant organisation claimed that it had burnt Al-Kasasbeh to death because the Jordanian military was bombing Daesh-held towns and cities in cooperation with the US-led Coalition, and was therefore accused of burning civilians to death with their airstrikes.
Similarly, Daesh has released footage of men, women and children who have been killed by what they claim are Turkish airstrikes. MEMO has seen graphic photographs of dead children that have been blasted apart in explosions.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based war monitor, has confirmed that 88 civilians, including 24 children, died as a result of Turkish airstrikes on Al-Bab.
Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik told parliament yesterday that 1,005 Daesh militants had been killed by Turkish forces and their allies, in addition to 299 fighters connected to Kurdish separatist groups linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
However, he did not give any figures for any civilian casualties.