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Isis captures and murders Syrian soldiers

THE Islamic State (Isis) group has murdered dozens of Syrian soldiers it captured after overrunning a military base in north-eastern Syria, shooting some and using knives on others in a brutal mass killing.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said today that Isis fighters had rounded up the soldiers on Wednesday near the Tabqa airfield, three days after seizing the base in heavy fighting.

The government troops were among a large group of soldiers from the base who were stuck behind the front lines after the airfield fell to Isis.

Observatory director Rami Abdurrahman said the Isis fighters killed up to 65 soldiers. 

He said some were shot dead, others were killed with knives.

However, a statement posted online by supporters of the Islamic State group claimed they killed “about 200” government prisoners captured near Tabqa.

It also showed photographs of what it said were the prisoners — young men stripped down to their underwear marching in the desert.

On Wednesday, a UN commission accused the extremist group of committing crimes against humanity in Syria. 

The UN has accused the group of similar crimes in Iraq.

But yesterday French President Francois Hollande rejected any co-operation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against Isis. He said: “A big alliance is necessary but let’s be clear — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cannot be a partner in the fight against terrorism, he is the de-facto ally of jihadists.”

In southern Syria, government warplanes targeted rebels near the country’s frontier with Israel in the Golan Heights after opposition fighters captured a crossing point on the disputed border.

The Syrian air strikes hit several areas near the frontier in Quneitra province.

The UN said that an armed group had detained 43 of its border peacekeepers during a “period of increased fighting between armed elements and the Syrian Arab Armed Forces.”

It said another 81 peacekeepers were “currently being restricted to their positions in the vicinity of Ar Ruwayhinah and Burayqah.”

The UN said it “was making every effort to secure the release of the detained peacekeepers.”

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