Horror in Aleppo: "moderate" rebel group beheads Palestinian child
The Nour al-Din al-Zenki movement beheads 11-year old Abdallah Issa shouting "Allah Akbar". The child was executed for collaborating with government forces. Before he died he was tortured. The group’s leaders try to back away from the barbaric killing. The group is supported by Turkey, the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Aleppo (AsiaNews) – The beheading of an 11-year-old by Syrian opposition group Nour al-Din al-Zenki has sparked horror and indignation after images of the event began circulating on social media on Tuesday. The group itself is part of the anti-government Free Syrian Army, considered “moderate” in the West.
The video shows a terrified child, desperately pleading (pictured), with obvious signs of bruising on his stomach and legs. He also has traces of blood on an arm. All this points to torture.
In the background the notorious takbir is heard, praising the executioner who, in the name of “Allah’s greatness", justifies and sanctifies the killing of "enemies of the faith." In this case, the enemy is a child unable to find the right words to convince them of his innocence.
Circulating on social media, the video, which has also outraged the strongest supporters of the anti-Assad camp in Syria, begins with an FSA "soldier" issuing the sentence against the child. The FSA is the armed wing of the anti-Assad opposition.
As he reads the boy’s verdict, the militiaman adds, "They have no more men, now they send us children."
The video ends with the executioner lifting the severed head and screaming "Allah Akbar" (God is greatest). "These are your men, Bashar (Assad)". This is followed by another "Allah Akbar" by those present.
The child, whose name is Abdallah Issa, lived in the Palestinian refugee camp of Handarat, north of Aleppo. He was beheaded after he was accused of being part of Liwa Al Quds, the Jerusalem Brigade.
The execution took place in the back a red pickup, parked in a street, in front of several people who appear smiling and joyful before the macabre spectacle.
Some Nour al-Din al-Zenki supporters tried to justify the horrible crime on social media by stating that "the child" shown in the video "was 19".
Other supporters urged the group's leaders to issue a press statement clarifying the victim's age.
Still more, however, tried to downplay the incident, saying the child was Syrian from the city of Homs, as if the child's nationality made a difference and beheading a Syrian boy was "lawful and permissible".
Supported by Turkey, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Nour al-Din al-Zenki is considered part of the moderate, not terrorist and peaceful opposition, authorised to take part in negotiations. Yesterday, the group issued a statement indirectly acknowledging the child’s execution.
For the group’s leaders, the boy’s killing was a "violation" of its rules of engagement that was not representative of its overall operations.
In view of the situation, it announced the creation of a commission of inquiry, adding that the fighters who appear in the video were being “held for interrogation”. (PB)