ISIS released another beheading video through social media on Sunday. The new film is notable in two respects: the victims were captive Shiite Muslims in Syria who were described as “impure infidels” by their captors, and a group of teenage boys were employed as assistant executioners, continuing the Islamic State’s trend of working children into their murder videos.
“The eight men, wearing the orange jumpsuits which have become associated with the group’s sick propaganda, were said to beheaded in the central Syrian province of Hama,” says the UK Daily Mail’s description of the video. “Blindfolded and with their hands bound behind their backs, the captives are seen being led forward in a field by teenage boys. They are then seeing being handed over to a group of masked fighters and each is given a knife from a smiling boy before the hostages are forced to face down on the ground before being butchered.”
In addition to describing the Shiite captives as infidels, the Islamic State fighter narrating the video defiantly states, “Our swords will soon, God willing, reach the Nuseiries and their allies like Bashar and his party.” In other words, he is saying ISIS will yet overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad, who is a member of the Alawite sect of Shiite Islam. The Daily Mail explains that “Nuseiry” is a derogatory term for the Alawites.
Fox News expands on Lebanese news reports that one of the beheaded men was Younes Hujairi, kidnapped from the Syrian border town of Arsal during a joint operation by ISIS and an al-Qaeda group called the Nusra Front in August. Four of the hostages taken in that raid are known to have been killed, while twenty more soldiers and police remain prisoners. Hujairi’s family claims to have seen photos online of ISIS fighters carrying his severed head around. If he is one of the eight men beheaded in the video, it would be an interesting detail, as Hujairi was a Sunni Muslim, not Shiite.