Last month, Khaled al-Hamad, a Syrian rebel leader, gained headlines globally when a video was released showing him slicing out the heart of a slain Alawite and taking a big bite out of it, before declaring “hopefully we will slaughter all of them” in a follow-up interview.
Eating the hearts of your enemies isn’t just unsanitary and a gross violation of Muslim dietary laws, but also a pretty clear indication that a person is a little too into the mass murder aspect of the civil war.
Which has President Vladimir Putin openly warning against arming these sorts of rebels in the latest US-led push to start funneling weapons into the country, admonishing EU officials for supporting rebels who spurn the “humanitarian values” of Europe.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was quick to downplay the incident, while insisting that everything that happened in Syria was President Assad’s fault at any rate. He did however add that no decision has been made by British officials to start arming the rebels.
Putin’s comments aren’t just rhetorical ploys either. Hamad is a founding member and key leader of the Farouq Brigades, part of the Free Syrian Army, which is the exact group that the US is expected to be arming after the “vetting” process rules out direct weapons transfers to the overtly al-Qaeda-run outfits like Jabhat al-Nusra. There is no indication that any of the vetting will focus on eating the organs of the dead.