World

SYRIA: A shocking video has emerged on the social media showing a U.S.-backed Syrian rebel group Nour el-Din al-Zinki slaughtering a young boy (under the age of 12) on the charge that he had spied for the rival rebel faction Liwaa al-Quds (Quds Brigade), a pro-government Palestinian militia.

A young boy is seen on the back of a pickup truck surrounded by armed men who accuse him of being a spy and a member of the Quds Brigade. He is then beheaded with a knife by one of them.

The incident allegedly occurred in Handarat, near Aleppo, on Tuesday.

The Foreign Minister of Iran on Friday called the United States and its allies hypocrites on Twitter and accused Washington for it’s “deafening” silence over the beheading of a child by US-backed rebels in Syria.

“Apparently western-backed terrorists beheading a 12-year innocent boy in #Syria is the new normal,” Javad Zarif tweeted.

It is not clear who the boy was or why he was beheaded on camera.

However, the boy has been identified by activists on social media as Mahmoud Issa, a 12-year-old Palestinian. The Syrian government also condemned the “repulsive crime” against an innocent child in a statement to the United Nations, saying the boy was a Palestinian from the refugee camp of Handarat on the edge of Aleppo.

The Quds Brigade,on its Facebook page, strongly denied that Issa was a fighter, adding that the boy was ill. It said he was killed by a “terrorist” who lost his brother in battles near Handarat, apparently in an act of revenge.

Nour el-Din al-Zinki stated that it will investigate the incident and punish the perpetrators. It claimed that everyone involved in the violation had been arrested and was being investigated. The group, which operates mainly in Aleppo, has received support in the past from the United States.

Amnesty International said the video is the latest “abhorrent signal” that opposition groups are carrying out serious abuses in Syria with impunity.

Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program said: “This horrific video showing the beheading of a boy suggests some members of armed groups have truly plumbed the depths of depravity. It is yet another gruesome example of the summary killing of captives, which amounts to a war crime.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he had seen the “appalling report” but could not confirm if it had happened. “Obviously we’re very concerned certainly if it’s accurate,” he said, adding that if the report was proven it would “give us pause about any assistance or, frankly, any further involvement with this group.”

Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, whose fighters are in Syria fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces against the rebels, also condemned the beheading. In a statement issued in Beirut, it described the beheading as a “disgusting crime” by “so-called moderate rebels backed by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.”