BEIRUT – A gruesome video has emerged on the Internet apparently showing a Syrian rebel fighter cutting out the heart of a regime soldier and eating it.
“We swear to God we will eat your hearts and livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog,” the insurgent says as he bends over a blurred body and cuts out the heart in the amateur footage uploaded to YouTube.
“We are the heroes of Baba Amr,” he says, referring to a rebel stronghold in the central city of Homs that has been flattened by the forces of President Bashar Assad.
The man, identified in the video as a member of the mainstream rebel Free Syrian Army, then stands up, raises his dagger in one hand and the heart in the other.
He then proceeds to place the organ in his mouth, before the video abruptly ends.
The authenticity of the footage, which was uploaded to YouTube on Sunday by a user named “SyrianGirl War,” could not be verified.
The Syria conflict flared when forces loyal to Assad launched a brutal crackdown on Arab Spring-inspired prodemocracy protests that erupted in March 2011.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based watchdog, says that more than 80,000 people have since been killed, with numerous incidents of mass killings and other atrocities.