Depraved jihadis fighting for the Islamic State have forced a young child to savagely behead a Syrian regime army officer in the first execution of its kind.
The sickening murder is understood to have taken at the Western Hir Palace in the province of Homs after the soldier was captured by jihadis at the nearby Al-Bosayri army checkpoint.
The unnamed officer is believed to have been a regime leader in the ancient city of Palmyra, which ISIS captured in May and have since set about about systematically destroying as they believe the city's several millennia-old buildings and monuments distract from the worship of God.
ISIS have increasingly used young boys in their gruesome executions, with some children no older than 12 being forced to shoot the terror group's opponents at point blank range. However using a child to carry out a brutal beheading with a knife is a sickening new low for ISIS.
Video of the incident has been shared by ISIS supporters on social media and shows a child no older than 10 carrying out the brutal beheading.
Wearing camouflage and a black headdress, the boy's face is uncovered - revealing a chilling dead-eyed stare that offers a glimpse of the evil he has witnessed carried out by ISIS' killers.
The regime soldier is seen being forced to lay on his stomach as the young boy approaches him from behind, pulls his head back by the hair, and uses a small knife to slit the man's throat and set about beheading him.
In a moment of true horror the child then lifts the victim's severed head in a warped celebration of the brutal murder. He then places the head on the victim's back.
Throughout the entire killing, a senior ISIS fighter is seen observing the shocking scene.
At the end of the video the older militant turns to the camera and makes a chilling threat to the West.
'Our goal is not only Palmyra or Homs or Damascus, rather our goal is to conquer Bayt al- Maqdes [Jerusalem] and Rome, God willing,' according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, who say they were sent a copy of the video.
Today's savage murder is not the first time ISIS have used young boys to commit a sickening murder. It isn't even the first time the terror group has employed child executioners in Palmyra.
But observers believe the latest shocking video features the first young boy forced to carry out a filmed beheading on behalf of the Islamic extremists.
Earlier this month ISIS released an execution video from inside Palmyra, showing 25 child executioners lining up regime soldiers in a Roman amphitheatre and shooting them in the head.
A baying crowd of men and boys gathered in the restored ruin waiting for the slaughter, many wearing military uniforms and headscarves.
The amphitheatre had formerly been used for an annual festival in the city and was a world famous tourist attraction before the Syrian Civil War broke out in 2011.
ISIS seized control of the UNESCO world heritage site from regime forces in May. Since then it is believed the terror group has been using it to stage hundreds of barbaric public executions.
ISIS' child killers are dubbed 'cubs of the caliphate' and have proven to be an increasingly common propaganda tool for a group determined to prove itself as the most depraved in human history.
The first confirmed example of child executioners being employed by ISIS is believed to have been in January, when two children shot dead a pair of former jihadis who 'confessed' to being spies operating undercover within the terror group on behalf of Russian intelligence.
Since then there have been numerous examples of ISIS jihadis using children to shoot their enemies dead - ranging from slick, professionally produced videos aimed at a Western audience, to grainy mobile phone footage intended for the private entertainment of the militants themselves.
Yesterday 17 government troops including a commander were killed fighting ISIS near Palmyra.
Palmyra, which is famed for its ancient ruins, has been under ISIS control since May, but in recent weeks government troops have advanced to within a few miles of the city.
Meanwhile in northeastern Syria, Kurdish forces backed by government shelling seized an area south of the city of Hasakeh from ISIS forces.