Abu Sakkar, the so-called “Syrian Cannibal,” has explained why he cut out and ate the heart of a government soldier in a Q&A-style YouTube video.
The original video went viral weeks ago, and showed Syrian opposition fighter Abu Sakkar cutting out the heart of a government soldier and then proceeding to eat it. Labeled a “propaganda video” by several news outlets, the shocking clip was condemned on both sides of the Syrian civil war.
Many called it “horrific” and “inhumane,” and has been submitted as proof of war crimes in Syria by Human Rights Watch.
Now, Syrian rebel commander Abu Sakkar, the same man from the original clip, has released a statement to the press regarding his horrific actions.
He offered context to his actions, saying that he found the pro-regime fighter’s mobile phone, which contained footage of the killing of children, rapes, dismemberment and torture.
“Every free Syrian who sees this; you don’t know what they can do,” he pleads.
He also said that if the Syrian conflict continues, then all Syrians would “be like me.”
Though obviously not as chilling as the original (which we won’t show here for obvious reasons), Abu Sakkar’s explanation for cutting out and eating a man’s heart is as troubling as you might have imagined from reading the title of this article.
However, this story sheds light on the Syrian conflict, which by and large isn’t covered in Western news (mostly because we don’t have a horse in the game). But next time you hear a reference to the U.S. considering taking action in Syria, this kind of thing is exactly why we’ve been considering it.
What do you think of Abu Sakkar? Is there no justification for his actions, even if what he says about the cell phone is true? You can watch his original explanation video below, or a poor-quality subtitled clip here: