US-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Beheads Child

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US-backed Syrian rebels, screaming "Allahu Akbar,"  brutally beheaded a child named Abdullah Issa. The shocking clip shows fighters from Nour-al-din el-Zanki telling the camera, "These are the prisoners from Liwa al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigade – a Palestinian militia group). He [Assad] can't stoop any lower. He sent us children today, are you sending us children?"

America funds Nour-al-din el-Zanki, which fights against the Assad regime.

Liwa al-Quds (The Jerusalem Brigade) is a pro-Assad Palestinian paramilitary group. The rebel group accused the boy of being a spy.

Referring to the prisoner, one jihadi says, "These are the dogs of Assad. These are your people Bashar." Another says, "We shall not leave anyone in Handarat," the Palestinian refugee camp where a battle between regime and rebel forces is currently taking place.

To shouts of "Takbir" and "Allahu Akbar," a fighter from the group saws through the neck of Abdullah Issa. In a grisly scene, he then holds the head aloft and exclaims "Allahu Akbar" several more times.

Reports of Issa's age vary between 11 and 13. Some say he was an 11-year old Palestinian from Handarat; others say he is a Syrian from the city of Homs.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights manager Rami Abdel Rahman told France Press, "The child is no more than 13-years old. He was arrested today in the area of Handarat, but the slaughtering happened in el-Mashab neighborhood.

"This is one of the most terrible execution acts that I have seen since the revolution began in Syria," he added.

Activists affiliated with the group which killed the boy claimed he was actually 19, and that the video makes him look a lot younger than he really is.

The beheading video was published in the early hours of Tuesday morning on social media networks, according to BBC Arabic.

The rebel group condemned the beheading and said it was perpetrated by individuals who do not represent the group. "All of the people who carried out this violation have been arrested and brought before a disciplinary tribunal," the group said in a statement.

"The movement of Nour al-Din el-Zanki condemns the inhuman violation, since they believe in the principles and the targets of the revolution and the principle of human rights and the international agreements and the sharia. This violation doesn't reflect us and a one-time mistake does not reflect the general policy of the movement," the statement read.

The group also used the statement to blame international actors, saying the group "holds the international community fully responsible for keeping silent about the crimes regime forces are perpetrating which represent the lowest level of barbaric crimes committed under the ears and the eyes of the world and are represented by a killing machine which slaughters thousands of citizens."

Liwa al-Quds denied any connection with the child. A spokesman for the group said, "We don't recruit children, and all of our fighters wear military uniforms not civilian clothes. We are trying to locate the family of the child and find out his story and the place where he was kidnapped from."

WARNING: Extremely Graphic Video:

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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