Shocking Video Shows Syrian Rebel Biting Heart of Dead Soldier
Scott Peterson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — There was new outrage Tuesday over atrocities committed in Syria as a shocking video went viral. The video shows what appears to be an opposition fighter biting into the heart of a dead government soldier.
The U.S. and its allies have talked about giving more assistance to Syrian rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad’s forces but the new video, along with the rising influence of al Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, might convince Washington to rethink its strategy.
People familiar with the Syrian conflict identified the man in the video as Khaled al-Hamad, a commander of the Omar al-Farouq Brigade, one of the many factions opposed to al-Assad.
In the video, he is seen leaning over a dead soldier, cutting out his heart and then proclaiming, “I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog.” Al-Hamad then bites the organ while shouts of “God is great!” are heard in the background.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch said that a longer version of the video includes a slur against Alawites, the minority sect to which al-Assad belongs.
If true, it typifies the growing sectarian conflict in Syria. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed on Tuesday that as many 41,000 Alawites have died since March 2011 when al-Assad began a crackdown on pro-democratic activists.
The total death toll in the conflict has been hard to determine given the news blackout in Syria. The latest official figure was 70,000, although British Prime Minister David Cameron said 80,000 earlier this week.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, it may be as high as 120,000.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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