ISIL crucifies nine men in Syria's Aleppo: NGO
BEIRUT - Agence France Presse
This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows fighters from ISIL marching in Raqqa. AP PhotoA jihadist group in Syria has publicly executed and crucified eight rebels fighting both President Bashar al-Assad's regime and the jihadists, a monitor said on June 29.
The report comes amid fierce clashes on the outskirts of Damascus between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is spearheading a major offensive in Iraq, and rebels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
"ISIL executed eight men in Deir Hafer in the east of Aleppo province" on June 28 because they belonged to rebel groups that had fought against the jihadists as well as Assad's forces, the Britain-based monitor said. ISIL then "crucified them in the main square of the village, where their bodies will remain for three days," it added.
Also in Aleppo province, a ninth man was crucified for eight hours as a form of punishment in Al-Bab town near the border with Turkey. He reportedly survived the ordeal.
ISIL first emerged in Syria's war in late spring last year and was initially welcomed by some Syrian rebels who believed its combat experience would help topple Assad.
But subsequent jihadist abuses quickly turned the Syrian opposition, including Islamists, against ISIL. Rebels launched a major anti-ISIL offensive in January 2014, and have pushed them out of large swathes of Aleppo province and all of Idlib in the northwest.
However, ISIL remains firmly rooted in Raqa, its northern Syrian headquarters, and wields significant power in Deir Ezzor in the east near the border with Iraq.
Activists say the group's Iraq offensive and capture of heavy weapons - some of them U.S.-made - appears to have boosted its confidence in Syria.