As the violence in Syria escalates, it seems no one is safe.
A YouTube video posted this week reportedly shows a Syrian al-Qaida fighter and his cohorts executing a group of young men who claim to also be Sunni Muslims.
The alleged victims could be heard in the video pleading for their lives and shouting out, “We are Sunni Muslims too!”
Dutch human rights activist and Middle East analyst Martin Janssen verifies the authenticity of the video and the reality it reveals.
“On this video you hear one of the young man victims say that he is also a Sunni Muslim,” Janssen said. “The person who shot him answers that the shooters are al-Qaida and that they will know who al-Qaida is.”
American Enterprise Institute Middle East policy specialist Michael Rubin explains why al-Qaida fighters may be turning on some of their Sunni allies.
“Unity is a very transitory trait among Islamists. Even among the most radical groups, factions develop,” Rubin said. “And in a culture which brokers no dissent, the penalty is often death.”
Developments in the Syrian civil war this week were not limited to Muslim-on-Muslim violence.
Several news agencies this week have reported that embattled Syrian leader Bashir Assad has threatened to deploy and use chemical weapons, allegedly against the rebel army trying to overthrow him.
However, a report on the intelligence analysis web site Lignet says the Langley Intelligence group is skeptical of Syria’s threats and believes the threat is a bargaining chip to receive asylum in another country.
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