- Islamic State’s ‘Class of 2015’ were seen graduating from a school in Raqqa
- Militants were given final lectures by senior commanders in the school hall
- They then took part in a passing out parade, waving ISIS flags, carrying AK47 assault rifles and covering their faces with black balaclavas
- Graduates were then ordered on to school bus to be driven to the frontline
New images have emerged showing dozens of black balaclava-wearing extremists graduating from an Islamic State-run school of terror in northern Syria.
Brandishing AK47 assault rifles and waving flags carrying the sinister black and white ISIS logo, the photographs showing the jihadi ‘Class of 2015’ are believed to have been taken in Raqqa city.
Although the are dressed in head-to-toe black and wear balaclavas that cover most of their faces, it is clear that the majority of the graduates are teenagers who have been brainwashed into thinking they are holy warriors, when the reality is they will be used as little more than cannon fodder.
The images are believed to have been taken somewhere in the city of Raqqa – the eponymous capital of the province and a stronghold of the terrorists’ self-declared caliphate, which covers vast swathes of land in northern Syria and western Iraq.
The photographs show dozens of militants sitting on seats in what appears to be a school hall, while chilling black and banners carrying the ISIS logo are seen been waved.
A senior militant is seen giving the jihadi graduates a final lecture before they are sent off to wage jihad in the various provinces – known as wilayats – under the control of the Islamic State.
Having been given a final speech by their commanders, the fighters are seen waving ISIS flags in celebration before taking part in what appears to be a passing out parade.
In a courtyard outside the school the newly-graduated fighters march in highly choreographed formations, still brandishing assault rifles and with their faces still covered by black balaclavas.
Other images in the collection show the militants clambering on to what appears to be a school bus, which will no doubt transport them to the frontline of fighting in the area outside Raqqa city.
While hardened militants with experience of warfare and knowledge of battlefield strategy may be of use to ISIS, the vast majority of new recruits – especially teenagers and foreign fighters – are used as little more than cannon fodder during an assault or for suicide bomb attacks.
Others are kept far from the frontline and given mundane jobs such as guards or toilet cleaners that are a far cry from propaganda images portraying ISIS membership as a life of glory and honour.
The images emerged as thousands of Syrians fled Idlib province over the weekend, fearing government reprisals a day after opposition fighters and a powerful local Al Qaeda affiliate captured the northwestern town, activists said.
Idlib, with a population of around 165,000 people, is the second provincial capital to fall to the opposition after Raqqa, which is now a stronghold of the Islamic State group.
Its capture by several factions led by the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front underscores the growing power of extremist groups in Syria, who now control about half the country.
NOW ISIS TURN THEIR SAVAGERY ON THE DEAD BY SMASHING GRAVES AND TOMBS IN SYRIAN CEMETERY
Militants fighting for the Islamic State have now turned their savagery on the dead, tearing down graves and smashing tombs at a cemetery in Syria.
Not content with the rape and massacre of the estimated four million brutally oppressed people living under the terror group’s control in Syria and Iraq, ISIS jihadis are now victimising the dead.
Claiming gravestones and tombs are a form of veneration of the dead and only distract from the worship of Allah, the heavily-armed, camouflage-wearing militants are seen happily reducing the hilltop cemetery to piles of rubble.
The chilling images are believed to have been taken in the Syrian province of Raqqa and shows a hilltop cemetery overlooking what appears to be farmland.
Having parked their motorcycles at the gates of the graveyard, the militants are seen inside pulling over tombstones while sympathisers stand alongside them taking photographs.
The Nusra Front and Syrian rebels have controlled the countryside and towns across Idlib province since 2012, but Assad’s forces had maintained their grip on Idlib city, near the border with Turkey, throughout the conflict.
Now that the city is in the hands of rebels, who stormed government buildings and tore down posters of Assad, many residents fear that troops will retaliate harshly.
Muayad Zurayk, an activist based in Idlib province, said via Skype that ‘residents are fleeing the city to nearby villages and towns.’ He added that the situation was relatively quiet in the city yesterday despite some government shelling.
Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, confirmed some people were fleeing the city.
Also in Idlib, activists said members of a Syrian security agency killed more than a dozen detainees before withdrawing from a detention center in the city.
The activists said the killings were conducted shortly before rebels took the so-called security compound in Idlib on Saturday.
The Idlib Media Center showed a video of what it said were at least 12 bloodied bodies inside a room at the Military Intelligence Directorate.
The Observatory said 15 men were found shot dead inside the compound. The group said 53 other detainees, including two women, were freed by the rebels in the compound.
More than 220,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict, which began with an Arab Spring uprising in March 2011 and turned into an insurgency following a military crackdown.