Beirut - A Syrian rebel, who was filmed apparently
cutting out and eating the organs of a soldier, has defended his actions as
revenge for regime atrocities, Time magazine reported on Tuesday.
The US news weekly said it had talked by Skype with the
fighter, identified as Khalid al-Hamad, who appeared in a video that sparked
outrage and condemnation, including from the Syrian opposition.
Hamad claimed he was driven to the gruesome acts by
footage on the dead soldier's cellphone, showing him "humiliating" a
naked woman and her two daughters.
The magazine said Hamad described participating in
another acts of mutilating regime forces, including militiamen known as
"I have another video clip... In the clip I am
sawing another shabiha with a saw. The saw we use to cut trees. I sawed him in
small pieces and large ones," Time quoted him as saying.
The magazine said Hamad, a Sunni like much of the
opposition fighting against President Bashar Assad's regime, expressed hatred
of member's of the leader's Alawite sect.
"Hopefully we will slaughter all of them," he
told the magazine,
"They were the ones who killed our children in Baba
Amr and raped our women," he said, referring to a neighbourhood of the
central city of Homs.
"We didn't start it, they started it," he
"Our slogan is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a
The video, in which Hamad leans over a uniformed body,
cuts out organs and then holds one up to his mouth, has prompted both outrage
The National Coalition, the country's main political
opposition grouping, issued a statement saying it "strongly condemns"
"The Coalition stresses that such an act contradicts
the morals of the Syrian people, as well as the values and principles of the
Free Syrian Army," it said.
"The Syrian Coalition reiterates its condemnation of
such an act and stresses that it is a crime, regardless of the perpetrator.
"The culprit will eventually be tried in court in
front of an honest and fair judiciary."
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said condemnation alone was not
"It is not enough for Syria's opposition to condemn
such behaviour or blame it on violence by the government," said Nadim
Houry, Middle East deputy director at the New York-based watchdog.
"The opposition forces need to act firmly to stop