Syria rebels vow to punish 'heart-eater'

2013-05-15 12:00
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Damascus - The Free Syrian Army pledged on Wednesday to punish atrocities amid outrage over a video showing the mutilation of a corpse, as the regime ruled out discussing President Bashar Assad's departure in negotiations.

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 [with] 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 woman and her two daughters.

New fears

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 Syria.

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 the Al-Nusra Front.

Amid the turmoil on the ground, the international community continued to push for talks on a political solution to the conflict.

US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Syria's president not to squander the opportunity to come to the table for negotiations, insisting "enormous plans are being laid".


But while Kerry said Russia had informed him that Syria has already chosen envoys for the conference, Syrian officials insisted that Assad's departure - a key opposition demand - was not on the table.

"Syria will not accept any dictate and its friends will not accept it either," Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal Muqdad told Syrian state television late on Tuesday.

His comments echoed those made earlier by Syrian information minister Omran al-Zohbi.

"The ones who decide who is president of the country, what form the government takes and how internal processes are carried out are the Syrian people and the ballot box," he told Hezbollah's al-Manar television.

Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov announced plans for a new conference last week, intended to build on a deal agreed last year in Geneva.

The deal called for a halt to the violence that is now in its third year, and a transitional government, but made no call for Assad's departure.

Jordan said on Tuesday that it would host a meeting of the largely anti-Assad "Friends of Syria" group of Western and Arab states, which is likely to focus on the conference.

Supply of weapons

Diplomats anticipate that the gathering could be held in early June, possibly also in Geneva.

Kerry said he spoke on Tuesday with the chief of staff of rebel Free Syrian Army General Salim Idris, whom he said is "committed to this negotiation process.

Among those holding talks in the Russian capital was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Putin's official spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Israel had raised the issue of Russian weapons supplies to its ally Syria and that Moscow had defended the deliveries.

"The issue was raised. The Russian Federation presented its arguments, which are well known," Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Peskov as saying.

Israel wants Russia to halt supplies of S-300 ground-to-air missiles that could complicate any future air attacks of the sort Israel has already carried out against the Syrian regime.

Putin, for his part, warned against any destabilising moves in the Middle East, days after the latest Israeli strikes.

The Observatory watchdog said on Tuesday that at least 94 000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, revising upwards a previous toll of 82 000.

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  john kerry  |  syria  |  uprisings  |  syria conflict

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2395.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.