Even by the standards of Syria’s ever-worsening stream of atrocity and massacre videos, the latest footage from the country cannot fail to shock for its sheer savagery. The video, posted on May 12 but filmed on March 26 near the Syrian town of Qusayr, on the border with Lebanon, opens by calmly filming a rebel commander cutting open the chest of what we assume is a deceased pro-Bashar al-Assad fighter, removing his heart and liver with surgical precision and sang-froid.
The cameraman jokes with the commander, telling him, “God Bless you Abu Sakkar, it looks like you are drawing a love heart [on his chest]!” The commander, the man called Abu Sakkar, then picks up the bloody liver and heart and speaks directly into the camera, delivering a chilling threat:
“I swear to God, you soldiers of Bashar, you dogs, we will eat from your hearts and livers! O heroes of Bab Amr, you slaughter the Alawites and take out their hearts to eat them!”
As men in the background shout Allahu Akbar! (God is Great!), Abu Sakkar ends the video by putting the dead man’s heart in his mouth and ripping off a chunk of the bleeding organ. Mutilation and cannibalism, punctured by deeply sectarian language, point to the horrifying sectarian violence that is starting to engulf parts of Syria.
Journalists contacted by Human Rights Watch — as well as the commander’s own brother, in a meeting with Time magazine journalists — have confirmed that the man in the video is indeed Abu Sakkar, a well-known rebel commander. Journalists who have met him report that he was one of the founders of the Farouk brigade, one of Syria’s largest and most storied mainstream rebel militias, founded in the city of Homs in 2011.
(A must-read for everyone at high schools.
I noticed how he used his blade. Not even like a doctor. He did as a trained butcher on a slaughterhouse. He’s done it before. And will keep doing. I can’t even tag this into the Arab Spring scenario anymore.
Where is mankind going?… where are we all heading to?… Such atrocities makes us feel that we can’t tolerate it to happen anymore…
Damn… I wanted to cry, vomit… I was not even able to feel like killing back… just felt that knife ripping my own chest off…
I feel this almost as mine… and the worst part is that she’s not here.
I can only pray.
For her and those like her.
May your justice prevail, Lord… and may it crush those who worked in any way in making actions like this happen. Amen.