The group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which sympathizes with the opposition and reports daily tallies of combat and violence from a network of contacts on the ground in Syria, corroborated its assertion on Friday with a video posted on the Internet.
The video, dated Wednesday, showed what appeared to be an execution ground, with dozens of lifeless bodies clumped against a wall pockmarked with bullet holes. The video's authenticity could not be independently confirmed, but the Syrian Observatory founder, quoted witnesses as saying 51 soldiers taken prisoner were later shot. Among the total who had surrendered, he said, "very few were taken hostage."
Mr. Abdulrahman said the killers were members of the Nusra Front one of the many jihadist groups, some affiliated with Al Qaeda and populated with foreign fighters, that have entered Syria to join the insurgency battling the forces of President Bashar al-Assad in the conflict, now in its third year.
Other reports have suggested that not all of the executed were soldiers but some were civilians who supposedly cooperated with the Syrian soldiers and got punished for doing so. In the graphic video posted online on Wednesday shows some of the executed men not wearing any military outfits but rather standard casual clothing.
This is a picture that has been circulating on Facebook which reportedly shows some of the soldiers minutes before they were executed. The picture shows a Syrian soldier, the one in the middle of the last row, making the victory sign. Which caused alot of sympathy along the Syrian population.
The reports from yesterday also indicate that all victims in this Syrian town were shot in the head from close range
The killings took place in Khan al-Assal, the town near Aleppo that both Mr. Assad and the political opposition claim was the site of a deadly chemical weapons attack on March 19. Each side has accused the other of responsibility, but there has been no independent inquiry and no confirmation that such weapons were used.
A United Nations delegation visited Damascus this week to negotiate terms for investigating the Khan al-Assal site and other locations where the opposition claims Mr. Assad's forces used chemical munitions. The outcome of the visit has not been disclosed.
Russian experts have also collected samples from the site of the supposed attack in the Syrian town, These samples were examined in a certificated laboratory in Russia. According to the Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, there is "first-hand evidence" that the foreign-backed rebels have used chemical weapons in this incident near Aleppo.