Anti-Assad Forces: Caught in the Act Again
by Stephen Lendman
Previous articles discussed Washington-supported death squads in Syria. It’s common practice in all US direct and proxy wars.
Massacres and unspeakable atrocities are committed. Women are raped. Civilians are treated like combatants. Official coverup and denial follow.
Vietnam’s Operation Phoenix became a prototype for today’s wars. Terrorizing people into submission is official US policy.
Guns for hire are enlisted, armed, funded, trained, and directed. Nothing too heinous is out of bounds. Killing continues daily like sport. So do gruesome atrocities.
In March 2012, Der Spiegel discussed the “Homs burial brigade.” An insurgent “executioner” said he and comrades “kill in the name of the Syrian revolution. They leave torture (to) the so-called interrogation brigade….”
“They do the ugly work.” He believes in violence, he said. He “cut the throats of four men.” He machine-gunned many more. Executions happen regularly. Atrocities are routinely committed.
On May 14, Russia Today discussed a graphic video. It showed an insurgent commander mutilating a Syrian soldier’s corpse. Images showed him cutting out a soldier’s heart and liver.
He held the organs in his hands. He appeared to bite into them. He addressed the camera, saying:
“I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog.” Others off-camera chanted “Allahu akbar (God is great).”
The person filming said “God bless you, Abu Sakkar. You look like you are drawing (carving) a heart of love on him.”
Even Human Rights Watch (HRW) was outraged. Nearly always it’s reliably pro-Western. It backs NATO’s imperial wars. It supports Washington’s regime change plans. It’s one-sidedly anti-Assad.
On May 13, HRW headlined “Syria: Brigade Fighting in Homs Implicated in Atrocities,” saying:
HRW reviewed graphic images discussed above. They “show a commander of the opposition ‘Independent Omar al-Farouq’ brigade mutilating the corpse of a pro-government fighter.”
What’s “independent” about it HRW didn’t explain. Most insurgents are recruited abroad. They come from numerous countries. They’re enlisted to fight Assad.
Khalid al-Hamad (aka Abu Sakkar) is seen cutting out a heart and liver on camera. He “use(d) sectarian language to insult (pro-Assad) Alawites.” The same brigade committed other atrocities.
“Because of the extremely graphic and disturbing nature of the video, (HRW) decided not to publicly release the footageâ€¦.”
HRW’s emergencies director Peter Bouckaert explained what he saw, saying:
“We received an original copy of this video from one of our sources working on Syria last week.”
“The version we have is unedited and much clearer than what has been posted on YouTube, so we have been analysing this video for the last week, and we have firmly established that the person in the video mutilating this soldier, cutting out his heart and his liver, and then making some very extreme statements about the Alawite community, before putting the liver in his mouth, is a commander known as Abu Sakkar, who is the commander of an independent brigade called the Independent Omar al-Farouq brigade currently fighting around the town of Qusayr.”
“We have analysed the video in great detail.”
“In fact, he’s identified in the video as Abu Sakkar by the person filming, but we have also been able to match the clothing he’s wearing, as well as a very distinctive scar under his left eye and the rings on his finger to other videos that have been posted by the Omar al-Farouq brigade in recent weeks.”
“In some of those videos he is shown firing rockets into Lebanese Shia villages in retaliation for the (alleged) entry of Hezbollah into the conflict in Syria.”
“And he’s also shown posing with the bodies of killed Hezbollah fighters around Qusayr.”
“In fact, we’ve also been able to confirm his identity with four different international journalists who’ve worked in the city of Homs as well as an FSA commanderâ€¦.so we have very little doubt about his identity.”
An edited/blurred YouTube version is available online. The full film should be released, spread, and helped to go viral. Through Monday, the edited version was viewed over 560,000 times. Arabic and English videos are available.
Indifferent Americans, other NATO country residents, and regional ones should see it. They need to urge others to watch.
Perhaps it could make a difference. Maybe they’d get angry enough to act. Holding their own governments responsible matters most. They’re complicit in Obama’s war on Syria. Atrocities and other war crimes are longstanding US policy.
On June 8, 1972, nine-year-old Phan Thi Kim Phuc made world headlines. She’s still remembered.
A shocking image showed her running naked. She was screaming in pain. An aerial napalm attack struck her. It melted her clothes. It clung to her skin. It melted it and flesh beneath. It helped heighten public anger against an unpopular war.
Graphic images are effective. They speak louder than words. They’re needed now. An aroused public more than ever is needed. Whatever it takes is worth trying.
This atrocity hits home. With enough effort behind it, perhaps it has legs. Media scoundrels will let it die. They’ve said too little already.
They’ll consign it to yesterday’s news. Anti-Assad elements commit crimes of war and against humanity daily. Spreading the word it vital.
Mutilating a corpse is one of many crimes. International law calls “outrage upon personal dignity” a war crime. It includes humiliating, degrading or otherwise violating the dignity of a dead body.
Most often, anti-Assad atrocities go unnoticed. Rare exceptions prove the rule. It’s high time enough people understood the dark side of US imperial wars.
Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Palestinians, Somalis, Yemenis, Syrians and many others know well. Everyone needs to know. Americans and key NATO country residents most of all.
Washington’s war on Syria rages. Another peace initiative is planned. Late May or early June is likely. All sides will be urged to attend.
Nothing tried before worked. Expect failure again this time. America deplores peace and stability. It’s addicted to war. It’s permanent policy. All independent states are targeted. Syria’s being ravaged now.
On May 14, Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi expressed cautious optimism. Word aren’t enough, he said. Substantive steps must follow.
“We are in need to know whether the Russian-US understanding is as important as the political solution and its necessity as a choice that applies to everyone and whether it is really a sole choice for the Americans and their allies in secret and in public.”
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said he raised other issues. Israel’s May 4 and 5 attacks suggest more may follow. Turkey’s unwarranted rush to judgment over last weekend’s Reyhanli bombings makes resolving the Syrian conflict harder.
Al-Zoubi wants more information provided. Syria’s participation “is conditioned (on) knowing details and developments,” he said.
Damascus won’t “be part in any act, a political effort or a meeting that would harm the national sovereignty directly or indirectly.”
Syrians alone must decide fundamental issues affecting them. “Our national project as a government is clear, because we need Syria as a sovereign democratic, pluralistic and resistant country.”
He added that Syria’s commitment to confront terrorism is “irrevocable.” Russia wants all sides participating with no preconditions.
At the same time, President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov affirmed many times that Syrians alone should decide who’ll lead them.
On Monday, Obama and Britain’s David Cameron met in Washington. Comments belied their agenda. They also sent mixed messages.
On the one hand, ending the Syrian conflict was stressed. On the other, Obama said “I’m not promising that it’s going to be successful.” He’s uncompromising. He wants Assad ousted. He wants it by any means. He’ll accept no alternative.
Cameron wants insurgents given more support. Britain will double current aid given. Both leaders agreed to increase pressure on Assad. Their aim is hastening his “departure.”
Proposals include ending the fictitious arms embargo, providing substantial lethal aid, extrajudicially imposing a no-fly zone, carving out a safe zone area, air attacks on Syrian military sites, perhaps US boots on the ground, and eventually balkanizing the country.
Obama calls what’s planned “a democratic Syria without Bashar al-Assad.” Washington and media scoundrels mocked Syria’s new constitution.
Syrians overwhelmingly approved it. They did so in February 2012 by national referendum. Nearly 90% voted for it. A scant 9% opposed.
May parliamentary elections followed. It was a milestone political event. Independent candidates participated. Voting went smoothly. Independent monitors supervised the process. They included intellectuals, legislators and judicial authorities from other countries.
Ba’ath party members won a 60% majority. Previously they held just over 50% control. With support from independent MPs, they comprise 90% of Syria’s parliament. Opposition party members were also elected.
Washington called elections farcical. US and other Western reports mocked them. Media scoundrels regurgitated official lies.
Obama, Cameron and other key NATO partners prioritize regime change. Convening another conference masks their intentions. It’s doomed to fail.
Conflict resolution is simple. It depends on Washington calling off its dogs. Obama has no plans to do so. He didn’t launch war to end it. He won’t quit until pro-Western leadership replaces Assad. He’ll destroy Syria in the process.
It bears repeating. Libya 2.0 looms. It may be another false flag away. Perhaps a major one planned will make it easy. It’s the American way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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