Syrian rebels shoot prisoners

November 2, 2012 — 6 Comments

In the two videos below, uploaded to YouTube, we see prisoners, including wounded, being killed in cold blood.

The unit involved is the Dawud Battalion led by Hassan Aboud (and possibly elements of the Al Khamsa and Ansar Al Haq Battalions) of the Sham Falcons Brigade (Suqur al-Sham). The Sham Falcons Brigade is one of the largest formations of rebels in Syria and commanded by Ahmed Abu Issa (real name Al Moujahed Sheykh Ahmed) who is also the head of the Syrian Liberation Front, probably the biggest alliance of rebels, reportedly supplied by Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

It is not clear who the victims are, although some are apparently wearing civilian clothing.

One pleads, “I did not hit anyone, by Allah. I did not kill anyone.”

The man filming the video tells the victim to shut up and directs his comrades,

“Organize them for me.”

The fighters pull the victims to the center of the room and open fire on the victims with automatic fire.

These are war crimes (under the Geneva Conventions and the ICC Treaty) since the victims are protected persons (prisoners of war and the wounded). These are also crimes under islamic law.

Some of the armed groups affiliated with the rebels use language that expresses contempt for other religious and ethnic groups, and the clear intent to “cleanse” Syria of non-Sunni Muslims. This violates international norms on the prohibition on genocide.

Countries involved in supporting groups involved in such activities could be held liable for these crimes. The ICC Treaty for instance, holds the perpetrators as well as the enablers responsible for the same crime.

Reportedly, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey (and possibly the UK and USA) have provided financial and military aid to the rebel groups. Bahrainis have reportedly funded Suquor al-Sham directly. If these reports are true, these states are complicit in the crimes committed by the rebels.

The video below shows the aftermath of this same massacre as the perpetrators celebrate and loot the bodies:

The location of the massacre is Hmeisho checkpoint / west of Saraqeb shown here on Google Maps:

(Article updated 9/11/2012 as we investigate this incident further.)

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