Militants claim gravestones and tombs are a form of veneration of the dead and only serve distract from the worship of Allah
Militants fighting for the Islamic State have now turned their savagery on the dead, tearing down graves and smashing tombs at a cemetery in Syria.
Not content with the rape and massacre of the estimated four million brutally oppressed people living under the terror group’s control in Syria and Iraq, ISIS jihadis are now victimising the dead.
Claiming gravestones and tombs are a form of veneration of the dead and only distract from the worship of Allah, the heavily-armed, camouflage-wearing militants are seen happily reducing the hilltop cemetery to large piles of rubble as they pull town and smash the stone monuments.
The chilling images are believed to have been taken in the Syrian province of Raqqa and shows a hilltop cemetery overlooking what appears to be farmland.
Having parked their motorcycles at the gates of the graveyard, several militants are seen inside pulling over tombstones while sympathisers stand alongside them taking photographs.
One image shows the men reducing the graves to rubble as they pull them over and use what appears to be an iron bar to smash the stones into tiny pieces.
As some of the elder militants take a break, a group of tracksuit-wearing teenagers take over the destruction, using a spade to scrape away the edges of a tomb while young children look on.
A final image appears to show the militants gathering some of the debris from the site – ostensibly to be taken away and used as building material in Raqqa – the capital of the province and the de facto capital of the terrorists’ self-declared caliphate.
The chilling images emerged as thousands of Syrians fled Idlib province over the weekend, fearing government reprisals a day after opposition fighters and a powerful local Al Qaeda affiliate captured the northwestern town, activists said.
Idlib, with a population of around 165,000 people, is the second provincial capital to fall to the opposition after Raqqa, which is now a stronghold of the Islamic State group.
Its capture by several factions led by the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front underscores the growing power of extremist groups in Syria, who now control about half the country.
The Nusra Front and Syrian rebels have controlled the countryside and towns across Idlib province since 2012, but Assad’s forces had maintained their grip on Idlib city, near the border with Turkey, throughout the conflict.
Now that the city is in the hands of rebels, who stormed government buildings and tore down posters of Assad, many residents fear that troops will retaliate harshly.
Muayad Zurayk, an activist based in Idlib province, said via Skype that ‘residents are fleeing the city to nearby villages and towns.’ He added that the situation was relatively quiet in the city now despite some government shelling.
Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, confirmed some people were fleeing the city.
Also in Idlib, activists said members of a Syrian security agency killed more than a dozen detainees before withdrawing from a detention center in the city. The activists said the killings were conducted shortly before rebels took the so-called security compound in Idlib.
The Idlib Media Center showed a video of what it said were at least 12 bloodied bodies inside a room at the Military Intelligence Directorate.
The Observatory said 15 men were found shot dead inside the compound. The group said 53 other detainees, including two women, were freed by the rebels in the compound.
More than 220,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict, which began with an Arab Spring uprising in March 2011 and turned into an insurgency following a brutal military crackdown.