IS jihadists execute 'dozens' of captured Syrian soldiers: NGO
BEIRUT/PARIS - Agence France-Presse
This undated image posted on Wednesday, Aug. 27, shows a fighter of the Islamic State group waving their flag from inside a captured government fighter jet following the battle for the Tabqa air base, in Raqqa, Syria. AP PhotoIslamic State fighters have executed "dozens" of Syrian soldiers fleeing Tabqa military airport in the north, a monitor said Aug. 28, with the jihadists boasting on Twitter they had killed 200 troops.
"Dozens of Syrian soldiers captured while fleeing... after the IS overran Tabqa airbase were executed by the jihadists during the night," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.
The jihadists seized the airport on Sunday after weeks of bitter fighting with loyalist forces, cementing their control over Raqa province, capital of their self-declared Islamic "caliphate".
France rules out cooperation with Assad against Islamic State
France's president has rejected any cooperation with Bashar al-Assad whom he accused of being a "de-facto ally" of jihadists wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq, and urged a "humanitarian and military" response to the threat.
Speaking at an annual Paris gathering of ambassadors from around the world, Francois Hollande touched on crises in both countries as well as those rocking Ukraine and Libya -- all of which he said affected France directly.
"Assad cannot be a partner in the fight against terrorism, he is the de-facto ally of jihadists," he said.
Hollande reiterated his proposal to hold an international conference in Paris "to organise the coordination of international action against the Islamic State on humanitarian, security and military fronts".
His comments came after Assad's regime said Monday it was willing to work with the international community, including Washington, to tackle IS militants in the war-ravaged country.
Hollande also touched on the crisis in Ukraine, where Western intelligence believes Russian army units are taking part in the four-month conflict, that has seen more than 2,200 people lose their lives.
"If it turns out that there are Russian soldiers present on Ukrainian soil, it would be intolerable and unacceptable," he said.