Russia has rejected the authenticity of a video released by Daesh propaganda media, which purportedly shows a terrorist with the Takfiri outfit beheading a Russian intelligence officer.
The SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based organization that tracks terrorists’ online activities, reported the emergence of the 12-minute Russian-language video on Tuesday.
The footage shows a Takfiri militant clad in black ranting before proceeding to behead the purported agent, according to the report. The executioner is seen in the video urging Russian agents to surrender and saying, “This idiot believed the promises of his state not to abandon him if he was captured.”
However, the Russian Defense Ministry did not verify the authenticity of the footage and denied reports that one of its servicemen had been killed in Syria, where the Russian military is on an anti-terror mission at the request of the Damascus government.
“All members of the Russian armed forces in Syria are alive, in good health, and performing their duties in combating international terrorism as a part of their units,” it said in a statement.
RT said the alleged agent had also appeared in a Daesh video last year, pleading with Moscow to rescue him.
Viktor Ozerov, who heads the Defense Committee of Russia’s upper house of parliament, also said the video’s message should not be taken lightly.
“Of course, the Ministry of Defense does not disregard any reports that concern our servicemen, especially of such a character,” Ozerov told Interfax. “A check will be carried out and its results will be made known.”
“In any case, even if it's a fake, it shouldn’t be ignored,” he added.
In September 2015, Russia started lending its air power to the Syrian military’s counterterrorism operations. The support has proven considerably effective against the Takfiri terrorists, among other foreign-backed militants operating against the Syrian government since 2011.
Daesh had also threatened Moscow in a video in November that year.