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Moments Before Execution Of 51 Soldiers In Khan al-Assal

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Published on Jul 28, 2013

The Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, and an allied jihadist group known as the Ansar al Khilafah have both claimed credit for taking control of a town near the city of Aleppo and killing more than 100 soldiers. Both groups have conducted joint operations in the past.

The Ansar al Khilafah, or Supporters of the Caliphate, released a video showing the aftermath of the execution of more than 50 Syrian soldiers and officers following the takeover of the town. The video has since been removed by YouTube for violating its "policy on shocking and disgusting content."

The mass execution took place after fighters from the Ansar al Khilafah seized the town of Khan al Asal, according to the the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reports on Syria's civil war.

"Activists from the town of Khan al Asal have confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that more than 150 regime forces were killed by the rebels who took over the town of Khan al Asal on the 22nd and 23rd of July," the Syrian watchdog reported on its Facebook page. "About 51 of the casualties were summarily executed by the rebels, they include about 30 officers and line officers."

Footage of the aftermath of the massacre was published on YouTube. The bodies of dozens of men in and out of uniform are seen in various locations in the town. Some appear to have been executed. Heavily armed men chant "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is greatest") at the end of the video.

Meanwhile, the Al Nusrah Front has also claimed to have "liberated" the town of Khan al Asal, in a detailed statement that was released on jihadist forums on July 23. The statement was obtained and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group. Several images of the aftermath of the assault were released with the statement; one was nearly identical to a scene in the video published by Ansar al Khilafah.

The Al Nusrah Front said it launched a multi-pronged attack on the town, with mortars and rockets supporting an infantry assault.

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