ISIS has released a significant new execution video from the historic city of Palmyra, in the Syrian desert. Child executioners are shown in the video being forced to brutally slaughter a group of more than 25 regime soldiers.
The video shows the soldiers lined up on their knees on the stage of the Roman amphitheatre, which had formerly been used for an annual festival in the city. A baying crowd of men and boys gathered in the restored ruin waiting for the slaughter, many wearing military uniforms and headscarves.
ISIS fighters can be seen standing or sitting on top of the ancient ruins, watching over the crowd as they wait for the slaughter. A leader speaks to the audience, in front of an enormous ISIS flag draped across the back of the stage. And on a command, the condemned soldiers are killed simultaneously with a shot to the head.
ISIS captured the historic city on May 21, and has been systematically destroying the city’s treasured ancient monuments. They are known for using children – dubbed ‘caliphate cubs’ – as suicide bombers, soldiers and executioners in their attempts to instill fear across Iraq and Syria.
Authorities fear that the use of children as soldiers and suicide bombers will only increase in the coming months.