On the day of America’s Independence day, Islamic militant group, ISIS has yet again chosen to release a new harrowing video (see below). This time that of children standing behind 25 crouching Syrian regime soldiers with cocked rifles before shooting them in the back of the head.
The execution appears to have taken place at the ancient Roman amphitheater in Palmyra, Syria. The men’s executioners boys who are teens, no older than 12 or 13 years old and ostensibly still children.
In the video, a group of several hundred men watch as the soldiers are forced to their knees, guns to their heads, and executed. The BBC reports that the Islamic State has said that the executed men were soldiers captured in the city of Homs.
According to Al Arabiya, the video begins with a recitation of the Quran before then cutting to shots of the conflict, and then chained-together soldiers being led out of a cell onto a courtyard.
The captives are then transported by a convoy of pickup trucks to the site of the Palmyra ruins, where they are made to kneel in a line in the amphitheater.
Leading into the execution, a baying crowd of gathered men and boys in the restored ruin wait for the imminent slaughter, many wearing military uniforms and headscarves.
ISIS captured the historic city on May 21, and has been systematically destroying the city’s treasured ancient monuments. The same time that the latest televised execution is believed to have taken place.
Since its fall to ISIS, the area has seen the second round of executions carried out in the city’s ancient amphitheater.
ISIS reportedly carried out more than 200 executions, including of civilians, in and around Palmyra in the period when it captured the city.
Authorities fear that the use of children as soldiers and suicide bombers will only increase in the coming months.