‘Heart-eating’ rebel Khalad al-Hamad
Damascus - Arabstoday
The Free Syrian Army pledged Wednesday to punish atrocities amid outrage over a video showing the mutilation of a corpse.
The mainstream rebel group made the statement after a gruesome video of an alleged rebel fighter cutting out and apparently eating the organs of a regime soldier emerged online.
"Any act contrary to the values that the Syrian people have paid their blood and lost their homes (for) will not be tolerated, the abuser will be punished severely even if they are associated with the Free Syrian Army," the main rebel group said in a statement.
It said field commanders had been instructed "to begin a prompt investigation into the matter in which the perpetrator will be brought to justice.”
Investigations would also be held into whether the rebel in the video is a member of the Free Syrian Army or not, it said.
The man in the video, identified as Khalid al-Hamad, defended his actions in an interview with Time Magazine, saying he was driving to them by footage on the dead soldier's phone, showing him "humiliating" a naked women and her two daughters.
He expressed sectarian hatred of all members of the Alawite community, the religious minority to which Assad belongs.
His actions were also condemned by the opposition Syrian National Coalition, as well as the US State Department and UN rights official.
The gruesome incident raised new fears about the potential for grisly sectarian violence in the Syrian conflict.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Tuesday that three captured army officers had been summarily executed in the northern city of Raqa by fighters of Jabhat al-Nusra.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog said Tuesday that at least 94,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, revising upwards a previous toll of 82,000.