On the morning of July 19, members of the Free Syrian Army faction Nour el-Din Al-Zinki captured a 12 year old boy in Handarat claiming that he was a member of the Palestinian Quds brigade and that he was fighting for Assad. Soon after, two videos appeared online.
The first showed them taunting the boy, who seemed injured, in the back of a pick up truck.
The second video shows them beheading him. During the beheading, you could hear one of the men telling the one who was doing the deed to be careful not to cut his own hand in the process. You could also hear the group shouting “takbeer” and “Allahu Akbar” several times. After he was done, he raised the boy’s head in the air and his friends go into a another round of takbeers and Allahu akbars. The following is a video of the beheading. It is very graphic and I don’t recommend you watch it.
By the early evening, the official facebook page of the Quds Brigade denied that the boy was a fighter and stressed that his identity and origin is not known to them.
Here’s a summarized translation of the Quds Brigade:
It should be noted that Zinki is one of the CIA vetted factions in Syria that the US has supplied with TOW anti-tank missiles. The Daily Beast wrote:
“The front includes not only hardline Salafist factions from the groups known as the Islamic Front but more moderate brigades like the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Mujahideen Army and Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, a militia that has also received TOW missiles from Washington in the past.”
In a statement released today (see English translation below), the Zinki group admitted that it’s own members committed the beheading.
At today’s State Department briefing, Mark Toner was as usual playing dumb. He said that if the US could have proof that Zinki did indeed commit the beheading then it would give them “pause about further assistance to the group”. What more proof would they need than an admission by the group itself that some of it’s members were responsible? Here is a transcript of that exchange:
And here’s the video: