9 Sep 2014

Islamic State video shows Assad army base massacre

Islamic State releases a slick new propaganda video showing the massacre of Bashar al-Assad’s 93rd brigade in Raqqa in August.

Gunfire in battle against 93rd brigade

Contains graphic descriptions of footage. Above: a still from the Islamic State video

The latest video from the jihadist groups shows in detail the attack on a Syrian military base, including aerial views of the base, bombardment, gun battles and the execution of Syrian army soldiers.

Channel 4 News has been unable to independently verify the authenticity of the footage.

Aerial view of 93rd brigade base in Syria

Above: aerial view of 93rd brigade base in Raqqa

Islamic State social media seems to have two aims: to convince Sunni Muslims that the caliphate state is worth fighting for and ultimately the idyllic place to live for all Muslims, and to strike fear into their enemies.

The aim of the latest video appears to be the latter – and shows graphic footage of soldiers being beheaded, including a sequence where a head is kicked like a football, as well as images of bloody and disfigured corpses of soldiers, said to have been run over by a tank.

Dead Syrian soldiers

Above: dead Syrian army soldiers – image blurred.

The film also includes jihadi fighters making speeches ahead of the attack. The Sunni fighters call on God to grant them victory in the battle against Assad’s Shia army, saying: “We ask Allah the mighty, lord of the great throne, to cause these vehicles to pound the Nusayriyyah (Shia) and their thrones.”

It follows recent IS videos showing the beheading of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and of a Kurdish prisoner.

Night vision image of attack on 93rd brigade

Above: night vision image of attack on Assad’s 93rd brigade

Following the defeat of the 93rd brigade, Islamic State went on to take the Tabqa airbase near Raqqa, driving Assad’s army out of the north east of Syria.

However, in other places there are signs the Islamic State advance is being halted. The US attacked Islamic State positions near the strategically important Haditha dam on Monday – a move that has hit them hard, although IS says it is holding ground.

On Wednesday the Iraqi army said it had liberated three towns from IS in Anbar province, west of Baghdad.

Scroll down for more stills from the Islamic State video

Above: an explosion at the Raqqa base as Islamic State attacks

Islamic State jihadi

Above: Islamic State fighter speaks before the attack

Above: Tactics are outlined before the Raqqa attack

Above: Islamic State fighters target a remote outpost

Above: Islamic State advances in the battle agains the Syrian army’s 93rd brigade.