Yesterday’s video of a then-unnamed Syrian rebel carving the heart out of a slain enemy and taking a big bite out of it was among the most decisively ugly visuals of the civil war so far. It was so appalling that it got rights groups condemning him, and even his fellow rebels disavowed it.
It turns out to be far from being one of those “caught on tape” moments that was immediately regretted. The rebel, identified now as commander Khaled al-Hamad, is not only unapologetic about the incident but loudly defends it as a “legitimate” action.
“I swear to God we will eat your hearts, Alawite soldiers of Bashar the dog,” he declared, adding that “hopefully we will slaughter all of them.” Hamad then went on to brag about having other videos of himself sawing up corpses of slain militia members.
The incident is just one more reason why the increasingly unstable rebellion, with its al-Qaeda linked fighters and now its cannibals, who are decidedly violating Islamic dietary law, is finding growing reluctance to secure Western backing. Though the US is said to still be considering sending arms to the rebels, it is clear that having them wind up in the hands of an unrepentant heart-eater would be a PR-blunder, and that is sure to have the administration thinking twice.
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