The execution of the Syrian captain was carried out by a boy fighter in the city of Palmyra recently captured by Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS), reported the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The video showed the teen jihadist declare that IS would capture not only Syrian cities of Homs and Damascus, but also Jerusalem and Rome. He then proceeded to sever the bound officer’s head and put it on his lifeless body.
IS has produced dozens of videos showing its fighters execute captives, men, women and children. Teenagers were previously used as executioners in those acts of brutality, although the Friday video released just ahead of the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Fitr was the first in which a boy beheaded his victim.
Meanwhile Syrian news agency ARA News claimed that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ordered that production of execution videos be stopped. In a missive addressed to media officers, the militant leader reportedly said that such videos disturb Muslims and may be disgusting and scary to children.
The order, which could not be immediately verified, left IS militants split, according to the agency. But some Middle East commenters say Baghdadi’s ban applies only to amateur videos of IS brutality taken by the fighters on mobile phone cameras.
IS has been active in promoting its cause in the social media. Its ‘official’ execution videos are professionally scripted and edited, making their horrifying impact that much more striking.