Syrian rebel defends biting into dead soldier's organ

DAMASCUS, Syria, May 15 (UPI) -- A Syrian rebel militia leader shown in a shocking video biting into an organ cut out of a regime soldier's corpse defended his actions as rightful vengeance.

Khalid al-Hamad, a member of a breakaway rebel faction who goes by the war name Abu Sakkar, told Time magazine biting into the lung he had cut out of the soldier's corpse was a just punishment for the soldier's torture and sexual abuse of three naked women before he was killed.


"We opened his cellphone and I found a clip of a woman and her two daughters fully naked, and he was humiliating them, and sticking a stick here and there," he told the magazine.

"Our slogan is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," he said in a Skype interview Tuesday.

Al-Hamad said the brutality of President Bashar Assad's regime had driven him to extremes.

"You are not seeing what we are seeing, and you are not living what we are living," he said. "Where are my brothers, my friends, the girls of my neighborhood who were raped? May God bless them all."


Referring to the pummeling of a rebel district in the western city of Homs last year, al-Hamad told Time "Alawite troops" loyal to Assad "were the ones who killed our children in Baba Amr and raped our women."

Al-Hamad, a Sunni Muslim, is a former street vendor from Homs' Baba Amr district. Assad is an Alawite, a Shiite sect long persecuted in Syria until Assad's father, Hafez Assad, took power in 1970.

Al-Hamad held the Awawite sect responsible for another massacre said to have been carried out by Assad supporters.

"They were the ones who slaughtered the children and women in Bayda," he said, referring to a northwestern Syrian village that activists said was bombarded by Syrian forces May 2, leaving more than 100 dead, including entire families, among them the mayor and his children.

"We didn't start it, they started it," al-Hamad said.

Human Rights Watch, which validated the video, released a report Monday identifying al-Hamad as a well-known commander responsible for the recent cross-border shelling of a Shiite Lebanese village that killed two people.

The video has been viewed about 900,000 times on YouTube since it was uploaded by Assad supporters who called it evidence the war in Syria is a fight against Sunni extremists.


"Hopefully, we will slaughter all of them [the Alawites]," al-Hamad told Time.

"I have another video clip that I will send to them," he said. "In the clip, I am sawing another shabiha [pro-government militiaman] with a saw -- the saw we use to cut trees. I sawed him into small pieces and large ones."

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