Syria executions: Govt executes Islamic State suspects

Image copyright AFP Image caption Refugees walk through burnt-out buildings in the wake of the military offensive Syrian authorities have executed 24 people convicted of starting fires in areas controlled by Islamic State militants…

Syria executions: Govt executes Islamic State suspects

Image copyright AFP Image caption Refugees walk through burnt-out buildings in the wake of the military offensive

Syrian authorities have executed 24 people convicted of starting fires in areas controlled by Islamic State militants and government forces.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the executions were carried out in the southern province of Daraa.

Islamic State militants have posted pictures of the men, blindfolded and without helmets. Some of them have their hands tied behind their backs.

Meanwhile, air strikes believed to be carried out by Russian and Syrian forces killed 35 civilians in two villages near the northern city of Aleppo.

The UK-based Observatory says the strikes, late on Sunday, killed at least 35 civilians in Hazqa and Ballas villages.

‘Evacuated by Russian jets’

A Syrian official said the residents were all Islamic State militants “sent to the country to perpetrate their acts of terrorism in our country, but they evaded the Syrian security forces when they attacked them, and they were rescued by Russian jets.”

An employee in Daraa’s administrative centre, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters news agency the bodies of four people had been brought to a hospital in the province.

In an apparent reference to Moscow’s involvement in Syria, Syrian Information Minister Omar al-Dimashqi said such “plots of those terrorists” were trying to draw the Syrian army and its allies “from the pressure of the glorious victory”.

‘Supreme violations’

Earlier this month, an Islamic State suicide bomber detonated explosives at a Christian village near the city of Palmyra, killing more than 100 people.

The militant group, also known as Daesh or Isil, controls large parts of the country.

It still controls Deir Ezzor, on the country’s eastern border with Iraq. But it faces a major assault by the Syrian army and its allies.

The group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has not been seen since releasing a statement in October 2014.

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