A disturbing video of a Syrian rebel cutting out and eating the organ of a deceased soldier has gone viral. The clip, posted by Human Rights Investigations, or HRI, shows what is alleged to be Abu Sakkar, commander of the Independent Omar al-Farouq Brigade, cutting out the heart and liver of a dead Syrian soldier and eating the heart on film.
HRI's translation of the rebel’s message in the 36-second clip claims Sakkar is threatening to commit similar acts, explaining the war crime was motivated by discriminatory hatred.
“I swear to God, soliders of Bashar, you dogs, we will eat your heart and livers! Takbir! God is great! Oh my heroes of Baba Amr, you slaughter the Alawites and take their hearts out to eat them!”
Human Rights Watch reported Monday that Sakkar cut out both the heart and liver of the pro-government soldier. The organization is now asking for the cooperation among Syrian officials in bringing those responsible for the crime to justice.
“Both the opposition Syrian National Coalition and the Free Syrian Army leadership should take all the possible steps to hold those responsible for war crimes accountable and prevent such abuses by anyone under their command.”
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According to Human Rights Watch, similar incidents involving cannibalism have occurred in Lebanese Shi’a villages, footage allegedly showing Sakkar also committing the crimes.
Maj. Gen. Salim Idriss, chief of staff for the Supreme Military Council of the opposition, called the filmed crimes unacceptable.
“No soldier under the council’s command would be allowed to get away with such actions. It is not enough for Syria’s opposition to condemn such behavior or blame it on violence by the government. The opposition forces need to act firmly to stop such abuses."