Two Christians, one of them a priest, have been beheaded by militants because they were suspected of cooperating with the Syrian military.
A video uploaded to the internet yesterday shows two men with their hands bound, surrounded by dozens of people, many of them armed and cheering in celebration.
The two are brutally executed – beheaded with a small combat knife. Echoing previous beheading recorded by insurgents, the head is held up to the cheers of onlookers and then placed on the body.
This month has seen an escalation in sectarian atrocities committed by insurgents, who have been publicly armed and supported by America, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and other actors. Indeed, the atrocities are coinciding with further arms transfers – with new advanced weaponry witnessed in the hands of militants in the past number of weeks.
The most recent beheading recorded on video and uploaded to the internet, reportedly took place in Idlib countryside.
Recently, a Catholic priest was executed by foreign militants. The monastery in which he resided was burnt and looted, echoing the events of a massacre in Homs last month which resulted in the entire population of a Christian village being wiped out and their houses and possessions burnt. Two Christian bishops who were kidnapped by Chechen gunmen in Aleppo earlier this year, are still missing.
As well as Christians, Shia villages are receiving the brunt of a boldly-confident insurgency. This newly-found confidence has resulted in having just recently received confirmation of America’s intent to supply them with more weapons. Last week, militants massacred dozens of villagers in the province’s town of Hatla. Since then, summary executions and sectarian house-to-house raids have taken place.