A SYRIAN rebel who was filmed apparently cutting out and eating the organs of a soldier has defended his actions as revenge for regime atrocities.
The US news weekly said it had talked by Skype with the fighter, identified as Khalid al-Hamad, who appeared in a video that sparked outrage and condemnation.
The magazine said Hamad described participating in other acts of mutilating regime forces, including militiamen known as shabiha.
“I have another video clip… In the clip I am sawing another shabiha with a saw. The saw we use to cut trees. I sawed him in small pieces and large ones,” Time quoted him as saying.
The magazine said Hamad, a Sunni like much of the opposition fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, expressed hatred of members of the leader’s Alawite sect.
“Hopefully we will slaughter all of them,” he told the magazine.
The video, in which Hamad leans over a uniformed body, cuts out organs and then holds one up to his mouth, has prompted an outcry around the world.
The National Coalition, the country’s main opposition grouping, issued a statement saying it “strongly condemns” the act.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay demanded rebel leaders take immediate action to prevent such “atrocious” acts within its ranks.
“The video that has just emerged from Syria, apparently showing a rebel leader cutting out and biting the heart of a dead soldier, depicts a truly atrocious act,” she said.
“Mutilating or desecrating corpses during a conflict is a war crime.