Just a day before the Islamic State released a video reportedly showing the beheading of American Journalist Steven Sotloff, the militants who have taken hold in Syria and Iraq issued a video with a different tone requesting a prisoner swap involving Syrian soldiers it has been holding captive.
In a video released on Monday, a group of 11 Syrian soldiers are shown standing together on camera while statement is read by an unidentified speaker — reportedly talking on their behalf — requesting that the Syrian government hand over Islamic State fighters in exchange for the soldiers.
The Syrian soldiers are said to have been taken as prisoners when the Tabqa air force base in Raqqa was seized at the end of August. Two of the men were reportedly photographed at the time and their pictures were disseminated by Islamic State.
"We are the soldiers of the Tabqa military airport, captured by the Islamic State after its men invaded," the statement reads, acknowledging they are prisoners. "We ask our families and relatives to quickly secure our release in any way… otherwise we will be executed by IS."