US-backed rebel faction Nour al-Din al-Zinki Movement has issued a statement on their public release of a pair of videos that ended with the beheading of a boy that was identified as a 13-year-old Palestinian refugee, insisting it amounted to a “mistake.”
The group says the incident was an “individual error” and not reflective of the group’s policies. They also promised an investigation, though they complained that it drew too much attention, and not enough focus on the “brutality” of the Assad government.
The claim that this was not in keeping with the group’s policies is difficult to make, since the videos show a number of the group’s members loudly cheering, as the boy is identified as “an Assad soldier,” and chanting as the same boy’s head is cut off with a knife.
The same group was also among those tapped by Amnesty International in a recent report on human rights violations among US-backed rebel factions, which explicitly included reports that the group was carrying out summary executions of captured “pro-government fighters.”
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