by Yesim Usluca
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East
ANKARA, Turkey — The Islamic State (“ISIS”) released a video showing terrorists filming themselves burning two captured Turkish soldiers.
The 19-minute video released by the terror group is being described as “gruesome,” while the killers are being characterized as “barbarians.” It showed two servicemen with freshly-shaved heads, dressed in fuel-doused camouflage army gear, being dragged from a cage and forced to crawl on their hands and knees by two armed, unmasked ISIS militants, dressed in black clothing and brown suicide vests. Standing barefoot in the middle of a desert with chains around their necks, the soldiers were “connected by the neck to a torched fuse.” With a third terrorist standing guard, the executioner criticized Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and called for “destruction to be sowed” in Turkey. The men were made to stand a few feet from each other, with their backs to the long fuse. One of the militants then pressed a button on a small device, and both men were engulfed in flames shortly thereafter.
The video, titled “The Cross Shield,” was released shortly after Turkey vowed to combat terrorism in Syria when 16 of its troops were killed in battle. Amaq, a news agency linked to ISIS, stated last month that the terror group had captured two Turkish soldiers. The Turkish army had subsequently issued a statement indicating that it had lost contact with two soldiers. The video purportedly accused the Turkish government and President Erdogan of “burning Muslims.” ISIS stated that the executions were “payback” for Turkey’s involvement in the “war against Muslims.”
Following the video’s release, Turkey allegedly blocked access to Twitter, YouTube and Facebook to prevent the victims’ families and loved ones from seeing the execution. Turkey Blocks, a website that identifies and verifies reports of mass online censorship, stated that the blocks appeared to be implemented at the ISP level. It further indicated that this blackout was the second in one week, following a shutdown that occurred after the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey.
Turkish troops had entered Syria in August with the aim of overthrowing ISIS and Kurdish militia from the border region.
For more information, please see: