In early August, a video showed several bloodied prisoners being led into a noisy outdoor crowd in the northern city of Aleppo and placed against a wall before gunmen open fire and shoot them to death. According to activists, the slain prisoners were members of the powerful Barri clan, which has long had close ties to the Syrian government.
That video sparked international condemnation, including a rare rebuke of rebel tactics from the Obama administration.
There have been other videos of individual summary execution-style killings. Throughout the 19-month-old conflict, there have been other reports of brutal sectarian killings by opposition gunmen — including, according to one report by a Shiite watchgroup, the beheading of Iraqi Shiites living in Syria. At the same time, there have been repeated reports of massacres by regime forces and by the pro-government fighters known as shabiha.
Human rights groups said Friday they were trying to confirm the authenticity of the new video. The footage was consistent with other Associated Press reporting in the area. The video is dated Thursday, a day when the Observatory reported heavy attacks by rebels on regime checkpoints at Saraqeb.
The amateur video, posted on YouTube, shows a crowd of gunmen, apparently rebels, in what appears to be a building under construction.
They surround a group of captured men on the ground, some on their bellies as if ordered to lie down, others sprawled as if wounded. Some of the men are in Syrian military uniforms. "These are Assad's dogs," one of the gunmen is heard saying of the captured men.
The gunmen kick and beat some of the men, who appear terrified as one gunman shouts, "Damn you." The exact number of soldiers in the video is not clear, but there appear to be around 10 of them.