Islamic State beheads 2nd captive Lebanese soldier

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

22 PHOTOS
ISIS ISIL Islamic State beheadings and more Peter Kassig
See Gallery
Islamic State beheads 2nd captive Lebanese soldier
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: U.S. President Barack Obama returns to the White House on Marine One on November 16, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama is returning from Brisbane, Australia where he attended the G20 Leader's Summit. (Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)
"We are heartbroken to learn that our son has lost his life as a result of his love for the Syrian people." #Kassig http://t.co/5TbmxSs9Fk
Ed & Paula Kassig: "We are incredibly proud of our son for living his life according to his humanitarian calling." http://t.co/Iqm0lCBOY8
MISRATA, LIBYA - JUNE 02: In this handout image made available by the photographer American journalist Steven Sotloff (Center with black helmet) talks to Libyan rebels on the Al Dafniya front line, 25 km west of Misrata on June 02, 2011 in Misrata, Libya. Sotloff was kidnapped in August 2013 near Aleppo, Syria and was recently shown on a jihadist video in which fellow US journalist James Foley was executed. In the video the militant form the Islamic State (IS) threatens to kill Sotloff next if the US continues its aerial campaign against the insurgency. (Photo by Etienne de Malglaive via Getty Images)
Daily News front page Agusut 20, 2014, SAVAGES - ISIS monster behead U.S. journalist, taunt Obama over air strikes in Iraq - James Foley. (Photo By: /NY Daily News via Getty Images)
British hostage James Cantlie shown in "Lend Me Your Ears: Episode 2." (Clarion Project)
Cantlie rails against Obama's "simplistic" speeches and "under-construction" army. (Clarion Project)
ISIS also went to great efforts to cite American media both quoting the president and showing criticism of his strategies, in this case using a CNN article. (Clarion Project)
US President Barack Obama speaks during a primetime address to the nation from the Cross Hall of the White House in Washington, DC, September 10, 2014. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a televised address at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Obama pledged a relentless campaign to destroy Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, with Middle Eastern allies such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan playing crucial supporting roles. Photographer: Saul Loeb/Pool via Bloomberg
U.S. President Barack Obama leaves after speaking during a televised address at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Obama pledged a relentless campaign to destroy Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, with Middle Eastern allies such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan playing crucial supporting roles. Photographer: Saul Loeb/Pool via Bloomberg
NEWPORT, WALES - SEPTEMBER 04: US President Barack Obama (L) meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the NATO Summit on September 4, 2014 in Newport, Wales. Leaders and senior ministers from around 60 countries are meeting at what has been billed as the most important Nato summit since the end of the cold war with the situation in Ukraine and the threat of ISIS likely to be top of the agenda. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
NEWPORT, WALES - SEPTEMBER 04: (L-R) British Prime Minister David Cameron, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and US President Barack Obama talk as they arrive at the NATO Summit on September 4, 2014 in Newport, Wales. Leaders and senior ministers from around 60 countries are gathering for the two day meeting where Ukraine and the ISIS hostages are likely to be discussed. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe - Pool/Getty Images)
NEWPORT, WALES - SEPTEMBER 04: British Prime Minister David Cameron gestures to US President Barack Obama as they arrive at the NATO Summit on September 4, 2014 in Newport, Wales. Leaders and senior ministers from around 60 countries are gathering for the two day meeting where Ukraine and the ISIS hostages are likely to be discussed. (Photo by Chris Ratcliffe - Pool/Getty Images)
Druze men stand in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights as they look at smoke rising in the distance caused by fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels over the control of the Quneitra border crossing, on August 27, 2014. Syrian rebels, including Al-Qaeda's affiliate Al-Nusra Front, seized control of the Syrian crossing with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights today, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone (UNDOF) use binoculars to watch smoke rising in the distance caused by fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels over the control of the Quneitra border crossing, on August 27, 2014. Syrian rebels, including Al-Qaeda's affiliate Al-Nusra Front, seized control of the Syrian crossing with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights today, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A rebel fightercarries homemade mortar rounds on September 3, 2013 in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa. UN leader Ban Ki-moon said on September 3, 2013 that a military strike on Syria over the use of chemical weapons could worsen the country's conflict. AFP PHOTO / MEZAR MATAR (Photo credit should read MEZAR MATAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community cross the Iraqi-Syrian border along the Fishkhabur bridge over Tigris River at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on August 11, 2014. At least 20,000 civilians, many of whom are from the Yazidi community, who had been besieged by jihadists on a mountain in northern Iraq have safely escaped to Syria and been escorted by Kurdish forces back into Iraq, officials said. The breakthrough coincided with US air raids on Islamic State fighters in the Sinjar area of northwestern Iraq on August 9, and Kurdish forces from Iraq, Syria and Turkey working together to break the siege of Mount Sinjar and rescue the displaced. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
Peshmerga forces hand out water bottles and show the way to displaced Iraqi families from the Yazidi community as they cross the Iraqi-Syrian border at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on August 11, 2014. At least 20,000 civilians, most of whom are from the Yazidi community, who had been besieged by jihadists on a mountain in northern Iraq have safely escaped to Syria and been escorted by Kurdish forces back into Iraq, officials said. The breakthrough coincided with US air raids on Islamic State fighters in the Sinjar area of northwestern Iraq on August 9, and Kurdish forces from Iraq, Syria and Turkey working together to break the siege of Mount Sinjar and rescue the displaced. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters hold a position on the front line in the Gwer district, 40 kilometres south of Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, on September 18, 2014. France said that it will follow the United States in launching air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq, as the jihadists posted their latest video of a Western hostage. AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters hold a position on the front line in the Gwer district, 40 kilometres south of Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, on September 18, 2014. France said that it will follow the United States in launching air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq, as the jihadists posted their latest video of a Western hostage. AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

By DIAA HADID

BEIRUT (AP) - The mother of a Lebanese soldier held captive by the militant Islamic State group said photographs posted online Saturday purporting to show his beheading appeared to be real.

Zeinab Noun said her 20-year-old son, Abbas Medlej, was "sacrificed" after supporters of the militant Sunni group posted images appearing to show a captured Lebanese soldier before and after he was beheaded.

"My son was sacrificed," said Noun, clutching a passport-sized photo of her son, a handsome, smooth-faced young man.

Medlej's maternal uncle, Abu Ali Noun, also said the photographs appeared to be of his nephew. A spokesman for Lebanon's military said it was still investigating the incident.

Medlej would be the second captive Lebanese soldier killed by the Islamic State group, underscoring the grave challenges that face the ill-equipped Lebanese military as it fends off an unprecedented jihadi threat from Syria-based militants.

About two dozen more members of the country's security forces remain held captive by the militants. They were seized in August when several Syrian rebel factions, including the Islamic State group and al-Qaida linked Nusra Front, overran the Lebanese border town of Arsal, killing and kidnapping soldiers and policemen in the most serious spillover yet of the neighboring civil war.

The Syrian civil war has inflamed sectarian tensions between Lebanon's Sunnis and Shiites - with Sunnis generally backing the rebel groups and Shiites supporting the government of President Bashar Assad. The Iranian-backed Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah has actively fought on the Syrian government side.

Local media had reported that negotiations were underway, with the militants demanding cash and the release of Islamists being held in Lebanese detention. A statement posted by supporters of the Islamic State said Medlej was killed after he tried to escape.

Medlej hailed from a large Shiite clan from the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbak.

His mother vowed revenge on rival Sunnis.

"We have to take our revenge from those apostates," she said.

The captured soldiers and police are from Lebanon's many religious sects: the first soldier beheaded by the group, Ali Sayid, was a Sunni Muslim. The militants are also holding Christian soldiers and other Sunni Muslims.

Families of the captive soldiers have blocked highways and held demonstrations to pressure the Lebanese government to push harder for the release of the men. There are also fears for the safety of the more than 1 million Syrian refugees who are now in Lebanon as rage grows over the beheadings.

Medlej's uncle vowed that "every Syrian in Lebanon is a target" after hearing of his nephew's death.

The Islamic State group has drawn global attention particularly since June, when it swept through northern and western Iraq from its stronghold in neighboring Syria.

They reached Lebanon in August when they overran Arsal, and operate just across the border in the nearby hills of Syria.

On Saturday, Lebanon's state-run news agency reported heavy fighting in the barren hills between Arsal and the border with Syria. It came hours after militants on a motorbike opened fire on Lebanese soldiers patrolling in a vehicle in the nearby town of Qaa. The soldiers killed one of the attackers, state media reported.

The Islamic State group follows an ultra-conservative, violent interpretation of Islam and is accused by rights groups and the United Nations of committing war crimes, including the mass killings of soldiers, Shiite Muslims and followers of the ancient Yazidi faith in Iraq. It has also beheaded two U.S. freelance journalists who were captured in Syria, Steven Sotloff and James Foley.

A video of Sotloff's killing was posted on online jihadi networks on Tuesday. On Saturday, the United Nations Security Council issued a press statement condemning his murder.

"This crime is, yet again, a tragic reminder of the increasing dangers journalists face every day in Syria. It also once again demonstrates the brutality of ISIL, which is responsible for thousands of abuses against the Syrian and Iraqi people," the statement said. ISIL is another name used by the Islamic State group.

Last week, the U.N.'s top human rights body approved a request by Iraq to open an investigation into suspected crimes committed by the Islamic State group against civilians in its country. Its aim would be to provide the Human Rights Council with evidence on atrocities committed in Iraq, which could be used as part of any international war crimes prosecution.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners