Sickening footage appears to show Islamic State militants parading 250 captured soldiers through the desert in their underwear before they are killed and their bodies piled on the bare earth.
An Islamic State fighter said the men were from the Syrian government’s Tabqa air base which extremists seized on Sunday – handing them warplanes, helicopters, tanks, artillery and ammunition.
The video, too graphic to be published in full, first shows dozens of men being marched through the desert and made to chant in Arabic wearing only their underwear.
It then fades to black and resumes on an image of a pile of bloodied bodies stacked on top of one another.
As the horrific footage progresses it pans slowly across a vast line of men who appear to be dead, and whose bodies have been laid out one by one.
The line forms a slow crescent across the desert, seemingly stretching to the horizon as militants stand beside it. Eventually, after more than a minute, the cameraman reaches the end of the line.
At least 150 bodies are visible in the shaky video. Its description on Youtube said it showed the execution of Army officers and Nusayri people, a significant minority of Shia Muslims in Syria.
A caption to another version of the video said: ‘The 250 shabeeha taken captive by the Islamic State from Tabqa in Raqqa have been executed,’ referring to the Islamist name for soldiers loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
Talking to Reuters via the Internet, an Islamic State fighter in Raqqa added: ‘Yes we have executed them all.’