In a new video purportedly released by the Islamic State titled “The Cross Shield,” 2 soldiers with the Turkish Army are burned to death in the Aleppo countryside. The video was released on ISIS terrorist channels on December 22. Aleppo was recently retaken by the Syrian government with the help of Russia and Turkey.
The Syrian government recently retook the eastern portion of the city that had been held by Syrian rebels, not including ISIS. According to the BBC, “The Syrian government is waiting for the Aleppo evacuations to be completed before troops move into the rebel enclave and take full control of the city.”
However, ISIS is still fighting Assad forces, his allies, and Turkey in the region. Al-Masdar News reports that yesterday three Turkish Army soldiers were killed and another ten others were wounded in a surprise attack claimed by the Islamic State.
ISIS controls the Syrian city of Al-Bab, which it uses as a command point for raids on eastern Aleppo, a mere 15-minute drive away. Turkey is currently trying to take Al-Bab, with Reuters reporting that “Turkish air strikes on Wednesday destroyed 67 Islamic State targets” in the city.
The new ISIS video centers on Turkish airstrikes and civilians in Al-Bab allegedly killed by them.
The video begins with a brief about Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s involvement in Syria with Assad, Putin, and Obama. Turkey officially entered the Syrian Civil War in August. In November, Erdogan stated that Turkish entry in Syria was to end Assad rule, but he has since retracted that statement, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
Turkey is also using its involvement in Syria as a proxy war with the Kurdish Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava, which it views as a terorrist organization, according to Middle East Eye.
Later in the video, footage of alleged Turkish airstrikes in Al-Bab and ISIS-conducted suicide bombings are shown. The video includes footage of civilian casualties of alleged Turkish airstrikes in Al-Bab. Civilian casualties of Turkish airstrikes have been confirmed in the past, according to Human Rights Watch.
In the execution portion of the 19-minute video, two Turkish soldiers are shown in a cage with collars around their necks. In the video, ISIS calls them “dogs.”
The insult is especially meaningful in Islamic thought, as dogs are seen unclean and impure in Islam, according to Animals in Islam.
As the men are led out of the cages on all fours and lit on fire, the Arabic text reads:
You burned the Muslims, O Government of Turkey. So this will be your fate with the permission of Allah.
The video is reminiscent of the burning of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh in 2015, which can be viewed on Fox News here.
The BBC reports, “The Turkish army previously reported losing contact with two soldiers in northern Syria last month but it is unclear whether either are the men in the video.”
According to The Mirror, unconfirmed reports identify one of the two men as Sefer Taş, who was abducted in 2015. They report that other man is believed to have been abducted near Al-Bab on November 29.
Amaq News, ISIS’ press “agency,” previously reported on November 29 that they had captured two Turkish soldiers.
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