Saturday, September 6, 2014

Middle East: IS Beheads 2nd Lebanese Army Soldier After Raiding Lebanese Border Town

According to Reuters, Islamic State (IS) militants have beheaded a captive Lebanese soldier, images published on social media showed on Saturday (September 6), the second Lebanese soldier to be killed in captivity by the group since it raided a Lebanese border town last month.
A caption posted with the images on a Twitter account used to publish Islamic State (IS) "press releases," identified the soldier as Abbas Medlij, identifying him as a Shi'ite Muslim.
The two victims were among a group of 19 soldiers missing since the attack on Arsal by militants including fighters affiliated with Islamic State (IS). The group routinely beheads people it deems its enemies and recently beheaded two US journalists.
A separate statement said Medlij was "slaughtered" after a failed escape attempt. The statement was dated Friday (September 5).
COMMENT: One can only hope that the US-led coalition of NATO allies moves quickly with a sense of urgency as regional beheadings committed by IS are becoming voluminous. 
A Lebanese security source said Medlij was one of 19 soldiers missing and believed taken captive by Islamic State (IS) and other confederate Islamist insurgents who launched the incursion into the border town of Arsal in August.
The source said the Lebanese Army was investigating, but could not confirm that he had been killed.
IS militants last week beheaded another soldier taken captive in the same incursion. After releasing a video showing the execution of Ali al-Sayyed, a Sunni Muslim, the group posted another video depicting nine other soldiers begging for their lives. 
The militants want the release of IS prisoners held in a Lebanese jail.
Some of the soldiers are being held by the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate that also took part in the Arsal incursion. A number of Lebanese policemen are also being held by the militants.
The incursion marked the most serious spillover to date of the Syrian civil war into Lebanon and triggered five days of deadly battles with the Lebanese army.
IS has seized swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria. The US is assembling an alliance to fight the group in neighboring Iraq. US President Barack Obama said on Friday (September 5) that key NATO allies stood ready to join the United States in military action to defeat the group in Iraq.
In the past two weeks, IS released two videos showing the beheadings of US journalist James Foley and US-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff, saying it was in retaliation for US airstrikes against the group.