The recent video of a Syrian rebel commander carving open the corpse of a fighter loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, removing several organs and biting into what appeared to be a lung shocked and revolted even the closest observers of Syria’s increasingly brutal civil war.
A new video has now surfaced of the rebel, Khalid al-Hamad – who goes by the nom-de-guerre Abu Sakkar – in which he warns that “if the blood in Syria doesn’t stop, all of Syria will become like Abu Sakkar.”
Asked by the cameraman what drove him to mutilate the man’s body, he responded: “Cell phones [of pro-Assad militiamen] contain videos showing how they raped women, killed kids, burned the bodies, cut off a man’s arm while alive, tortured another man, then slaughtered him. Every free Syrian wouldn’t be able to control himself while watching these atrocities.”
Abu Sakkar said he would be willing to be tried for it if “Bashar and his thugs stand trial for their atrocities.”
TIME Magazine uncovered the original clip in which Abu Sakkar proclaims, “I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog.”
In a follow-up interview, the rebel – who is Sunni, like almost all those fighting the regime – told TIME: “Hopefully we will slaughter all of them [Alawites...I have another video clip that I will send to them. In the clip, I am sawing another shabiha [pro-government militiaman] with a saw. The saw we use to cut trees. I sawed him into small pieces and large ones.”
Both the political and military arms of the Syrian opposition have condemned Abu Sakkar’s actions.