Islamic State executes 12 civilians in Palmyra on charges of supporting Syrian regime

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ISIS militants executing Syrian soldiers in Palmyra. File photo

ARA News

Homs Extremists of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Thursday executed 12 people in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, after accusing them of supporting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. 

Some of the victims were teachers and others were employees at governmental institutions in Palmyra city, east of Homs Governorate, local sources told ARA News.

The mass executions took place at the Roman-era amphitheater in the ancient city.

“ISIS accused the 12 victims of working for the Assad regime and supporting its actions against the so-called Caliphate,” local media activist Muhammad al-Homsi said, speaking to ARA News from Palmyra.

“They were executed by firing squad in front of a crowd of people at the Roman amphitheater on Thursday,” the source reported. 

The same historical amphitheater was also used as a stage for the execution of 25 Syrian soldiers by ISIS in May, 2015.

“The use of the Roman amphitheater for the executions proves the brutality of ISIS terrorists,” said the Syrian Director-General of Antiquities and Museums, Maumoon Abdul Karim. “The terrorist group has been barbarically executing people and destroying antiquities in the ancient city of Palmyra.”

On December 11, 2016, the ISIS hardline group recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs Governorate. Activists and military sources confirmed the rout, reporting that the Syrian army had been forced to withdraw under fire. “The army withdrew after the clashes reached the city center and it became impossible for them to push ISIS back,” local media activist Abas al-Omar told ARA News.

Russia had supported the Syrian Army in Palmyra, with airstrikes and logistical support but their efforts were apparently insufficient to save the city.

ISIS first took over Palmyra in May 2015, following  a protracted battle with regime forces. The Islamic State’s occupation was exceptionally brutal, even by the standards of Syria’s 5-year-long conflict.

Reporting by: Raman Yousef | Source: ARA News

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