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US 'appalled' at gruesome Syria video

15 May 2013, 10:01

Washington - The United States on Tuesday denounced the actions of a Syrian rebel filmed cutting out and eating the organs of a dead soldier, but insisted it was the act of a lone brutal individual.

"We're appalled by this video, and we've been very clear that all sides in this conflict must abide by international humanitarian law," State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters.

Washington had "raised this gruesome act in our recent conversations with leaders of the Supreme Military Council, who assured us that they do not support such actions and that this is not representative of the vast majority of the armed opposition," he added.

He also insisted that the rebel, identified as Khalid al-Hamad, had been "previously ejected" from his unit "because of his history of brutality."

Time Magazine which interviewed Hamad, a Sunni like much of the opposition fighting against President Bashar Assad's regime, expressed hatred of members of the leader's Alawite sect.

And he claimed he was driven to his horrific act after seeing footage on the dead soldier's cellphone showing him "humiliating" a naked woman and her two daughters.

The video, in which Hamad leans over a uniformed body, cuts out organs and then holds one up to his mouth, has prompted an outcry around the world and thrown the mainstream rebel leadership on the defensive.



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