The jihadist group of the Islamic State (IS) has published a video supposed to show that two Turkish soldiers captured were burned alive.
The video, showing two men in uniform transported from a cage before being tied and burned, was posted on jihadist websites. The 19-minute images were reportedly taken in the “Alep province”, declared as IS, in northern Syria. Speaking in Turkish, the killer of the two men verbally attack Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and calls for “destruction to sow” in Turkey.
The shock images recall the killing of Maaz al-Kassasbeh, a Jordanian fighter pilot, captured by the jihadists when his plane descended to Syria in December 2014 and was then burned alive in a cage. The IS-linked Amaq news agency said last month that the jihadists had kidnapped two Turkish soldiers, and the Turkish army said separately that it had lost contact with two of its men.
The video was released one day after 16 Turkish soldiers were killed by Islamic State (IS) fighters in the biggest loss of Ankara so far in its unprecedented raid in Syria. They were killed in a succession of attacks around the Syrian city of Al-Bab on Wednesday, which included three suicide bombings in the car.
Turkish troops entered Syria on 24 August in support of Syrian pro-Ankara rebels, with the aim of ousting the SI jihadists and the Kurdish militias in the border area. At least 38 Turkish soldiers were killed in operation, which the Turkish government baptized Shield of Euphrates.
The biggest losses occurred in Al-Bab, a fief IS. Turkey was hit at home by the bloodiest attacks in its modern history, which it accuses of jihadists and Kurdish militants. The government also undertook a major crackdown following a coup attempt in July, which she said was orchestrated by the group of an exiled cleric, Fethullah Gulen.