Video: Syrian Rebel Commander Abu Sakkar Appears to Cut Out, Bite Heart of Dead Assad Soldier
WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC VIDEO
A shocking video of a Syrian rebel commander apparently cutting out organs from a dead government soldier and biting his heart illustrates the brutal nature of the country’s ongoing civil war.
Human Rights Watch reports that the video appears to show Khalid al-Hamad, aka Abbu Sakkar, cutting out the heart and liver of a dead Syrian government soldier before biting a chunk from the heart while insulting members of the ruling Alawite sect. Abu Sakkar is the founder of the Independent Omar al-Farouq Brigade, a group of about 60 rebel fighters battling to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad regime.
“I swear we will eat from your hearts and livers, you dogs of Bashar,” Abu Sakkar says in the video before biting the dead soldier’s heart as other Farouq Brigade fighters chant “Allahu akbar” — God is great– in the background.
Time reports that the video, which has been viewed more than half a million times on YouTube, has been authenticated by other Farouq Brigade militants.
However, according to Time.com, “Time has been trying to ensure that the footage is not digitally manipulated in any way — a faked film like this would be powerful propaganda for the regime, which portrays the rebels as terrorists — and, as yet, Time has not been able to confirm its integrity.”
More than 70,000 Syrians have died since hostilities began more than two years ago. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay blamed both government forces and rebels for the ongoing brutal violence, which she characterized as sectarian strife between Sunni rebels and the ruling Assad regime’s forces, which are dominated by Alawites, an offshoot of Shia Islam.
“As the situation has continued to degenerate, increasing numbers have also been killed by anti-government armed groups, and there has been a proliferation of serious crimes including war crimes and, most probably, crimes against humanity, by both sides,” Pillay said. “Cities, towns and villages have been, and are continuing to be, devastated by aerial attacks, shelling, tank fire, bomb attacks and street to street fighting.”
Pillay said that many more Syrians will likely die unless the conflict is brought to a swift end.
“Unless there is a quick resolution to the conflict, I fear thousands more will die or suffer terrible injuries as a result of those who harbor the obstinate belief that something can be achieved by more bloodshed, more torture and more mindless destruction,” she said. “Those people that are carrying out these serious crimes should understand that they will one day be brought to justice.”
US President Barack Obama has stated that the use of chemical weapons would constitute a “red line” that would have “enormous consequences” for the Assad regime.
Russia, Iran and China continue to stand behind the Assad regime, providing weapons and diplomatic support. The United States, the European Union, the Arab League and Turkey– as well as the terrorist group Al-Qaeda– are among those who support the rebels.
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