Video footage has emerged which shows the moment seven of President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian soldiers are executed on camera by rebels fighting to overthrow the regime.
The soldiers are stripped, bound and pushed to the ground where a number of rebels stand over them pointing guns at their bodies. Some bear vicious injuries on their backs and arms.
Just before they are killed, the ring-leader – known as ‘The Uncle’ recites a poem before he fires the first bullet.
‘For fifty years, they are companions to corruption’, he says. ‘We swear to the Lord of the Throne, that this is our oath: We will take revenge.’
The horrific scene filmed in April was documented in a video smuggled out of Syria only a few days ago by a former rebel who says he had become horrified by the brutality of the tactics his one-time comrades are using. He gave the footage to The New York Times.
It has emerged as G20 leaders meet in Russia to debate the dire situation in the war-torn country and will add fuel to the view that the rest of the world cannot actively support rebels who are carrying out atrocities equally as brutal as the troops deployed by President Assad.
Issa is known as ‘the uncle’ because two of his deputies are his nephews.
His former aide, who had the copy of the footage, said the captured soldiers’ allegedly had videos of them raping Syrian civilians and looting which led to the execution.
Issa requested the execution be filmed so he could show it to donors to help secure more funding.
At the end of the footage, the bodies of the soldiers are dumped in a well while one of the gunmen
looks into the camera and smiles.
It is believed Issa has the support of around 300 fighters willing to carry out the executions of
The 37-year-old, a trader and livestock herder before the war, formed the group at the start of the uprising using his own money to buy weapons and pay for his own soldiers’ expenses.
His father was opposed to President Hafez al-Assad, the father of Syria’s current president, but in 1982, he disappeared.
Issa believes he was killed during a 27-day government crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood which sparked his hatred of the government.
Last year, it is believed he was running a training camp in Turkey and gathering weapons, according to the New York Times.
The footage will no doubt cause problems for the U.S. which is considering attacking Syrian forces
over its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians.
Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of the issue of radicalised rebels which he said made up 15 to 20 per cent of the opposition.
Most of the concerns are centred around two groups which are known to have ties with Al Qaeda –
the Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Earlier this year, another sickening video showed a rebel leader eating the heart of a captured soldier.
The clip seems to show a man, believed to be the well-known founder of Homs’ Farouq Brigade Abu Sakkar, standing over the uniformed corpse in a ditch while ranting against President Bashar al Assad.
Using a knife, the man hacked open the torso and removed two organs before holding them up to the camera and declaring: ‘I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog.’
He then raised one to his mouth and took a bite.