ISIS executions go viral; Nusra attacks Golan

A video posted by ISIS Aug. 28 purports to show militants beheading a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter in Mosul. The video, posted to YouTube, says the killing is a warning to the Kurdistan Regional Government to end its alliance with the United States. In the footage, 14 other Peshmerga fighters are shown wearing orange prison suits, urging Kurds to reject their pact with the US against the Islamic State. Three armed militants stand behind one alleged Peshmerga captive near Mosul's iconic mosque, one of them brandishing a knife as he threatens that the rest of the Peshmerga troops will die if the KRG-US alliance does not come to an end. YouTube immediately removed the video. The video release comes as Peshmerga forces have taken several villages from ISIS in the Zumar area (Nineveh). (Rudaw)

ISIS also killed more than 160 Syrian government troops seized in recent fighting, posting pictures of terrified young conscripts stripped down to their underwear and being marched into the desert before being put to death. The troops are believed to have been captured in the battle for Tabaqa air base. (AP, Cyber Warzone)

In the Golan Heights, 43 UN peacekeepers stationed near the line of control with Israel were taken captive by rebels believed to belong to the Nusra Front. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that another 81 peacekeepers are "currently being restricted to their positions in the vicinity of Ar Ruwayhinah and Burayqah." (CBC, Middle East Eye)

The number of refugees from the Syrian civil war has risen above three million, the United Nations refugee agency said Aug. 29, calling the crisis "the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era." More than a million people have fled in the last 12 months alone, the refugee agency said—counting only those who registered as refugees. The total number is believed to be significantly higher. (NYT, UNHCR)