Human Rights Watch officials said they were investigating
the video, but could not yet confirm its veracity.
New footage posted on the Internet appears to have been
filmed by a Syrian rebel who points the camera along the barrel
of his gun as he shoots 10 unarmed prisoners.
The video, posted on YouTube yesterday, shows 10 men wearing
t-shirts and camouflage trousers lying face down next to a
building and a lookout tower. Even before the shooting, two
of the men are not moving and one has blood coming from his
"I swear to God that we are peaceful," begs one of the men to
the camera, which is being held by the gunman. Cowering, the
man gets up to plead with rebels. As he approaches a rebel
off-screen, a shot is heard and he returns holding his
The cameraman then points the camera along the barrel of his
Kalashnikov assault rifle as he shoots the men.
"God is great. Jabhat al-Nusra," he says, referring to the
secretive al-Nusra Front, an Islamist rebel unit linked to al
Qaeda that has claimed responsibility for several suicide
bomb attacks around the country.
The gunman gets on the back of a pickup truck and the camera
pans to show the man who had been shot in the arm still
moving. More shots are fired and his body spasms.
Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the
footage. Comments accompanying the video said it was filmed
in Ras al-Ain, a town on the border with Turkey where pitched
battles have raged in recent weeks.
Human Rights Watch officials said they were also
investigating the video, but could not yet confirm its
"It certainly is a very disturbing video, and it is important
to establish what happened," said Peter Bouckaert,
emergencies director at the New York-based group.
Syria's uprising started with peaceful protests which were
harshly suppressed by troops and has evolved into a civil war
in which foreign jihadi fighters have joined ranks with
defecting soldiers and armed civilians.
The 20-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad has
left 40,000 people dead. World powers who support the
uprising say they are wary of providing arms to rebel groups
due to the increasing role of Islamist radicals.
Rights groups accuse both rebel groups and government forces
of war crimes including summary executions and torture.