The radical Islamic State (IS) group on Sunday beheaded top Syrian army defectors in al-Tabqa near Raqqa.
General Mahmoud Shlash, 55, former head of Southern region in the Syrian Arab Army, was beheaded by IS fighters, activists said.
Since joining the conflict in Syrian in spring 2013, IS has seized control of almost all of Raqqa and Deir El-Zor provinces on the border with Iraq, where it has waged a devastating offensive since June.
IS initially has been fighting Syria’s opposition, including more moderate rebels and Nusra Front fighters.
But its abuses and harsh brand of religion prompted a backlash from rebel groups that pushed it out of many opposition-held areas earlier this year.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer