by Jason Ditz
Earlier this month, al-Qaeda overran the Abu Alduhur airbase in the northern Idlib Province of Syria, killing over 100 Syrian troops in the battle and capturing scores. This weekend, they executed the captured en masse, with a confirmed 56 additional troops killed.
Syrian state media had previously claimed that there were no captured troops, and that everyone managed to safely evacuate, though as usual there was ample evidence that many troops were indeed caught trying to flee the base.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights indeed suggested no Syrian troops actually got out of the base in an “orderly” manner, and that everyone who was at Abu Alduhur was either killed in the offensive, captured by al-Qaeda, or is simply missing and unaccounted for.
Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front has been gaining a lot of territory in recent months, and controls virtually the whole Idlib Province, with the exception of a pair of Alawite villages which they’ve appeared to leave alone since the Syrian military fled, leaving them under the protection of Shi’ite militias.