A Syrian rebel leader who apparently took a bite from a soldier’s heart was today accused of committing a war crime by mutilating a body.
A group loyal to president Bashar Assad, which published a video clip of the act on the internet, described the act as a “crime that crosses all lines”.
The man, identified by Human Rights Watch as Abu Sakkar, a well-known insurgent from the city of Homs, is seen carving into the soldier’s body and cutting out the heart and liver.
He then says: “I swear to God we will eat your hearts out, you soldiers of Bashar. You dogs. God is greater... we will take out their hearts to eat them.” He then appears to put the heart in his mouth and takes a bite.
Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch said: “The mutilation of the bodies of enemies is a war crime. But the even more serious issue is the very rapid descent into sectarian rhetoric and violence.”