Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Syria mutilation footage sparks doubts over wisdom of backing rebels

    Tuesday, May 14, 2013   No comments

Leader of Umar al-Faruq brigade who committed the crime

Anti-Assad fighter appears to eat internal organ of dead government soldier in horrific footage

Horrific video footage of a Syrian rebel commander eating the heart or lung of a dead government fighter has aroused furious international controversy, fuelling an already heated debate over western support for the armed uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The grisly film had been circulating for several days, attracting extensive comment on social media networks such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. But in the face of of an often vicious propaganda war between the government and rebels, early doubts about the film's authenticity faded when the perpetrator, named as Khaled al-Hamad, admitted that he had mutilated the corpse of an unnamed soldier as an act of revenge.

"We opened his cell phone and I found a clip of a woman and her two daughters fully naked and he [the dead soldier] was humiliating them, and sticking a stick here and there," Hamad told the Time news website.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), an independent monitor, said: "The figure in the video cuts the heart and liver out of the body and uses sectarian language to insult Alawites [Assad's minority sect]. At the end of the video [the man] is filmed putting the corpse's heart into his mouth, as if he is taking a bite out of it."


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