Al Qaeda-linked militants execute Syrian man for ‘blasphemy’
BEIRUT // Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have executed a man in Syria’s Idlib province after accusing him of blasphemy, a monitoring group said yesterday.
“ISIL executed Ibrahim Qassum, a heating oil vendor, by shooting him in the head... on allegations of blasphemy, two days after their forces arrested him,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
ISIL has its roots in the Islamic State of Iraq, Al Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate, and has been involved in numerous alleged abuses of civilians in Syria.
The Observatory said the man was arrested by ISIL fighters in the city of Saraqeb, in western Syria, after they accused him of watering down his fuel.
“The fighters bought fuel from him and asked him why it was impure. He responded in the colloquial dialect by saying ‘How should I know? What am I, the God of fuel?’” the Observatory said.
The group said the fighters arrested Mr Qassum, executed him and on Sunday threw his body in the streets of the town.
In June, the Observatory said ISIL had executed a teenager in front of his parents after accusing him of blaspheming against the Prophet Mohammed.
The group has been criticised by many within the Syrian opposition for a string of abuses in areas under its control.
Updated: December 9, 2013 04:00 AM