Syria mass graves reveal dozens of executed rebel fighters

Syria mass graves reveal dozens of executed rebel fighters
Protesters denounce the Islamic State group as "allies of Assad" following the discovery of mass graves of executed rebel fighters in northern Syria.
2 min read
24 February, 2017
Around 130 bodies were discovered in two mass graves on Tuesday and Wednesday [AFP]
Mass graves uncovered earlier this week in northwestern Syria have revealed the bodies of some 130 fighters killed by jihadists, a monitoring group and rebel factions said on Thursday.

The grisly discovery comes almost a week after the Islamic State-affiliated Jund al-Aqsa group clashed in Idlib province with Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and allied rebel factions.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 131 bodies were found in two mass graves near the town of Khan Sheikun.

Some of the bodies showed sign of being shot, while others were beheaded.

SOHR's director Rami Abdel Rahman said that those killed were held and then "executed" by Jund al-Aqsa.

Last week the bodies of 41 rebel fighters were discovered near the same town, the UK-based monitoring group added.

Mohammad Rashid, a spokesman for the rebel Jaish al-Nasr group, said that 71 of the slain fighters found this week were from his group.

"Three citizen journalists and 11 commanders were among them," Rashid said.

Designated as a "terrorist group" by Washington, Jund al-Aqsa is reviled by most rebels in the region due to their close ties to the Islamic State group.

On Friday, dozens of demonstrations took place in the provinces of Aleppo, Idlib and Damascus, where protesters slammed the IS group as "allies of Assad".

Protesters condemned the group's executions of members of the Free Syrian Army and their atrocities committed against Syrian civilians.

In the northwestern city of Maarat al-Numan, protesters held banners that decried the IS group as the biggest insult to Islam in history.

Protesters in Maarat al-Numan hold a placard saying nothing has undermined Islam in the entire history like
the IS group  [MMC]