Rebels threaten to behead ‘infidel Kurds’
Disturbing footage shows Turkish-backed soldiers in Syria threatening to behead "infidel" Kurdish troops in a chilling Islamic State-style warning.
This comes after both the Turks and the Kurds accused each other of breaking a US-brokered ceasefire signed this week.
The video, filmed in Ras al-Ayn along the Syria-Turkey border, shows an extremist militia group vowing to display the heads of secular Kurdish soldiers.
One of them says: "Desist sons of Muwali. We've come to behead you, you infidels, you apostates. God willing, we're coming for you."
The word "infidel" means someone without religious beliefs, while an "apostate" is a person who renounces their religion.
A second fanatic adds: "Just a few hours and we'll show you the (decapitated) heads."
Another says: "Victory only comes from God! With beheading."
In a second video posted online, a sickening execution is shown, believed to have taken place on the M4 highway in the north.
A spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said: "Turkish-backed armed groups threaten to behead any 'infidel Kurd' they capture on their way to NE Syria.
"To all those who are worried that ISIS may come back. ISIS is already back to NE Syria with Turkish protection."
Kurdish fighters and civilians began evacuating from a besieged Syrian town today, the first pullback under the ceasefire deal.
The mass exit opens the way to a broader withdrawal of the Kurdish-led forces from parts of the Turkish border.
However, clashes have erupted daily, with occasional shelling, particularly around Ras al-Ayn, the border town where Kurdish fighters have been encircled by Turkish-led forces.
The ceasefire deal only calls for fighters to leave the border area.
But Kurdish civilians have fled as well because without their protection they fear atrocities by the Turkish-backed Syrian forces.
Those fighters, who are Arab and often Islamist extremists, have been accused of killings of Kurdish civilians and captured fighters during this campaign and in other Syrian territory seized in Turkish campaigns since 2017.
The Trump administration negotiated the accord after heavy criticism at home and abroad that it had opened the way for the Turkish invasion by abruptly removing its soldiers from northeast Syria.
That move abandoned the Kurdish-led force, which had allied with the Americans to fight the bloody, years-long campaign that brought down Islamic State's rule over nearly a third of Syria.
In daily gunbattles, Kurdish fighters holed in up in a hospital on the town's southern edge and nearby neighbourhoods traded fire with the Turkish-backed forces.
The SDF said 16 of its fighters had been killed and three wounded in the past 24 hours.
Both sides accuse each other of repeatedly violating the three-day-old ceasefire.
Turkey's Defence Ministry said one of its soldiers was killed on Sunday in a Kurdish attack with antitank weapons and small arms fire near the border town of Tal Abyad.
That brought the Turkish military's death toll to seven soldiers since it launched its offensive on October 9.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission