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Victims in ISIS video begin to be identified

Syrian daily al-Watan mentioned the slayings on Monday, marking the first reference to the incident in pro-government press

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State-run and anti-regime media in Syria confirmed the death of more than a dozen men in a recent video released by Islamist militants, identifying more than five as members of the Syrian army, Lebanon’s the Daily Star reported.

The graphic footage also showed the death of U.S. aid worker and former army ranger Peter Kassig, sparking international outrage within hours of its circulation on Sunday.

However, the Daily Star reports that Syrian media only responded to the video on Monday when pro-regime daily al-Watan mentioned the slayings, marking the first reference to the incident in pro-government press.

Syria’s state-run news agency SANA reported the incident hours after al-Watan, but focused on the Western nationals believed to have been some of the executors in the video and referred to the Syrian victims as “hostages” rather than military personnel.

Meanwhile, social media news outlets and online forums, some pro-regime, have been attempting to identify the victims.

Col. Aktham Khatib, from the village of Safarqieh in Latakia, was identified to be one of those killed in the video by a Facebook page dedicated to reporting news from his hometown.

Four other men were also identified on social media forums: Abdo Tohme and Ghaith Mahanna from Homs province, and Issa Iskandar and Wissam Attar from Hama province, the Lebanese daily reported.