The servicemen are shown chained in cages. Terrorists then lead them on all fours to their execution site, while the executioner refers to them as “dogs”. The two men are heard presenting themselves off camera as members of Turkish Gendarmerie Intelligence Organization, a controversial agency. However, on camera, the men simply urge Turks to stop “fighting Muslims.”
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The executioner accuses the Turkish government and President Erdogan of “burning Muslims” before setting the prisoners on fire until they burn to death.
The video appears to have been an impressively staged production, shot from several angles in high-definition and high-speed cameras, and sound tracked with religious songs. The authenticity of the video could not be independently verified.
The gruesome footage is reminiscent of the burning of captured Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh released in 2015. Jordan authorities tried to negotiate the exchange of the pilot for two convicted terrorists, but IS brutally executed the pilot instead, which led to public outrage and ultimately to the execution of the terrorists in question.
Turkey officially entered the Syrian war on August 24, starting an operation dubbed ‘Euphrates Shield’. Ankara deployed ground and air forces to northern parts of its neighboring country, with the stated goal of retaking areas held by Islamic State and securing its southern borders.
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Ankara’s forces, however, also engaged Kurdish YPG militia forces on multiple occasions, while many analysts claimed that suppressing Kurdish enclaves in Syria was the true goal of the Euphrates Shield.
Turkey’s President Erdogan stated late in November that the goal of the operation was even a different one – to “end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad.” Such statements have caused consternation in Moscow, and the Kremlin asked the Turkish president to elaborate, after which Erdogan backtracked.