“NYT has it all wrong, John McCain told us these people were all moderates.”
Sadly...those are the moderates. Wait until you see the rest of them.
You are literally correct. This article features government troops being summarily executed by the moderates (i.e. non jihadists). Here's a passage on what motivates these particular moderate non-jihadist Sunni Arabs:
But, they said, one of his tactics has been to promise to his fighters what he calls the extermination of Alawites the minority Islamic sect to which the Assad family belongs, and which Mr. Issa blames for Syrias suffering.