The McClatchy Newspapers chain published a major exposé of Syrian rebels’ terrorism and murder today entitled “Accounts of Syria Rebels Executing Prisoners Raise New Human Rights Concerns.” The article catalogs many different recent reports of the sadistic acts of terrorism, torture, and murder that the Obama-backed Syrian opposition is carrying out, and has been published in dozens of McClatchy newspapers in major cities throughout the United States, including the Charlotte Observer, Miami Herald, Oregon News Tribune, Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee, Fort Worth Star Telegram, and many others in Kansas, Georgia, Louisiana, California, Texas, and Ohio.
While many of the accounts have appeared in foreign press, on Internet sites, and on youtube.com, this is the most detailed account that has yet appeared in major U.S. press. Major sections are excerpted here as documentation:
“Syrian insurgents fighting to unseat President Bashar Assad face a growing list of accusations that they’ve carried out executions and torture, muddying the Western narrative of a heroic resistance force struggling against a vicious regime. The issue of rebel conduct has come to the forefront this month largely because of a video posted online showing the aftermath of apparent executions of pro-Assad militiamen during the rebels capture of an intelligence center in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.
“A reporter for the Turkish newspaper Milliyet witnessed the incident Tuesday and confirmed in a first-person account the circumstances of the killings: More than a dozen men were captured alive and then summarily executed in what advocacy group Human Rights Watch called an apparent ‘war crime.’
“The men were forced into a building, then brought before a court of the Free Syrian Army on the back of a pickup truck, after which they were lined up and shot at lightning speed, the Milliyet reporter wrote.
“The incident doesn’t appear to be isolated, either. A McClatchy reporter traveling with a unit of the Free Syrian Army was told that rebels had captured about 45 Assad loyalists in fighting in Al Tal, north of Damascus. Asked later what had become of the prisoners, a rebel said eight had been executed, 25 had been released and the rest were being held in hopes of a future prisoner exchange.
“This week, a rebel commander in Damascus said that over the months his unit had executed perhaps 150 people it had detained on suspicion of being pro-Assad informants.
“The Agence France-Presse news service, meanwhile, cited a top Iraqi security official in a report July 19 describing the rebels takeover of a border outpost. According to the official in the report, they executed 22 soldiers in front of the eyes of Iraqi soldiers.
“Meanwhile, the so-called Daoud Battalion, a rebel force that operates in Jebel al Zawiyah in northern Syria, used its captives and suspected spies in an ingenious form of vehicle bombings against regime targets, according to a July 25 report on rebel groups by the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think-tank that has made a specialty of studying the Syrian rebel movement.
“The rebels put the prisoners in cars rigged with explosives and then remotely detonated the bombs when the vehicles approached government checkpoints.
“‘In videos of these attacks, the group has been careful to note that despite their appearance, they are not martyrdom operations,’ the report said, a reference to suicide attacks by its own members…..
“Even the rebels’ U.S. supporters appear to be more cautious in their statements after a series of hits to the opposition forces credibility: purported videos of regime crimes that were revealed as fakes, exaggerations in reports of mass killing by government forces, the spread of militant Islamists in rebel ranks, U.N. claims of cease-fire violations and, now, potential atrocities such as prisoner executions.”
In another article appearing on the Dissident Voice website, journalist Finian Cunningham wrote on today in an article titled “Cold-Blooded Mass Murder in Syria by the West’s ‘Pro-Democracy’ Opposition”:
“They were dragged out to be executed in a small, dusty courtyard in blazing sunlight. The victims were half-naked, dazed, their underwear soaked in blood, their legs bleeding from torture inflicted earlier. The expectant crowd, some armed with guns, others holding up mobile phones to take what were presumably trophy photos, were baying for execution.
“‘God is greatest,’ rang out the calls among the blood-lusting spectators. They also shouted slogans in support of the Free Syrian Army. This was summary ‘justice’ by the armed opposition groups that the Western governments are striving to empower in ‘liberated’ Syria.
“New video footage obtained by Agence France Presse shows a gruesome scene of cold-blooded murder of unarmed Syrians in Aleppo, the northwestern commercial city. It provides a glimpse of the Jihadi armed groups in Syria that are being funded, trained and directed by Washington, London, Paris and Berlin along with their Turkish, Israeli and Arab allies.
“These are the heroic groups that the Western political leaders and media have championed for the past 17 months as a pro-democracy movement against the dastardly government of Bashar al-Assad.
“Placed against a wall and kneeling, the victims were blasted at close range with automatic weapons. As the crowds parted, the video shows naked bodies slumped in a soiled heap. In another clip of the same execution courtyard, a group of cowering people is similarly riddled with automatic fire. After the hail of bullets subsides, a pile of mangled corpses is displayed, with grotesque satisfaction.
“The identities of the victims are reported as members of the Al Berri family or tribe from Aleppo. One of the elders executed is named as Hassan Berri Bin Zino. Reuters and other news agencies describe the victims as belonging to pro-Assad militias, which had been involved, allegedly, in earlier attacks on the opposition groups. This affiliation to pro-Assad militia has yet to verified, but the way the alleged affiliation is prominently reported is made to sound like a mitigating factor in what is premeditated murder by Western-backed killers.”