A video has gone viral online that appears to show a rebel in the Syrian civil war eating part of the heart of a dead Syrian soldier. Widespread condemnation has been received over the actions of the rebel.
Human Rights Watch, based in the U.S., identified the man biting the heart as Abu Sakkar. He is from Homs and is a well-known insurgent. The rights group called Sakkar’s action a war crime.
The main opposition coalition in Syria said Sakkar would stand trial for his actions. The video has not been authenticated and seems to show the rebel cutting the soldier’s heart out.
The man in the video says he promises to eat the hearts and livers of the soldiers of Bashar the dog, referring to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
HRW said that mutilating the bodies of enemies during war is a war crime. The group said that Abu Sakkar was filmed prior to this video, firing rockets into Lebanon and posing with the dead bodies of members of the Hezbollah from Lebanon that had been killed while fighting alongside the government forces of Syria.
The video, which appeared first on Sunday, contains some of the most gruesome footage to emerge from the war.
The United Nations has said that over 70,000 people have died thus far in the conflict since March 2011.
A large number of Syrians have left the country escaping the fighting. Over a million of them have been registered as refugees and close to 300,000 are reported to have relocated to Turkey.