This is footage taken by a Reuters camera crew in Harem on the Syrian-Turkish border. The perpetrators of this war crime are members of the Free Syrian Army Idlib Martyrs Brigade. The Turkish government is complicit in this crime as it has been arming and providing bases for the insurgency, an insurgency which is destroying the ordinary Syrian people’s hopes for a peaceful and prosperous future, living in harmony with one another.
There are a number of points to make about this:
1) This is clearly a war crime and those complicit in arming, providing bases for and supporting the militias responsible for this kind of terrorism are complicit.
2) It was precisely to avoid this kind of thing that the framers of the law against international aggression criminalised:
The sending by or on behalf of a State of armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out acts of armed force against another State of such gravity as to amount to the acts listed above, or its substantial involvement therein.
3) The commander of this particular unit was Basel Eissa, who was killed in a Syrian Air Force attack on 5 November.
4) Other footage from Harem strongly indicates the use of human shields by the FSA – with one civilian apparently picked out as he hadn’t attended Friday mosque. This is of course completely at odds with Islamic teaching which states there should be no compulsion in religion.
5) Numerous incidents of this type illustrate that the violent route to regime change in Syria has become a complete failure. The armed gangs making up the FSA are lacking in any discipline and beholden to no one. In areas where they take over they institute a reign of terror, far removed from the peaceful and democratic future Syrians were protesting for.
6) Although this clip is from Iranian-owned PressTV, Qatar-owned Al Jazeera have also covered this incident which indicates that public opinion is shifting against the violent insurgency in the wider Arab world and not just in Syria.
7) People of goodwill in Syria need to come together to negotiate a peaceful transition, without foreign interference.
Warning graphic content – viewer discretion advised.
(Article updated 7/1/2013 to attribute original footage to Reuters camera crew)