You may have seen the reports circulating concerning the beheading of a child in Syria.
The horrendous scenes of the beheading of a young Palestinian boy by a Syrian rebel faction called ‘Nour-Al-Din Al-Zenki’ has been all over social media in the past couple of days. This particularly barbaric crime was carried out not by ISIL/ISIS nor by Al-Nusra/Al-Qaeda, but by members of one of the so-called ‘moderate’ rebel groups that is backed by the United States and other Western allies.
The boy is reported by some to have been as young as 11 years old.
The child in question was accused of fighting for the Al-Quds Brigade, which is a Palestinian resistance group fighting on the side of the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army.
The generally reliable Al-Masdar News reported that, ‘The child, who is ostensibly under the age of 12, was arrested by Islamist militants fighting for the Turkish-backed Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement for allegedly being a fighter of the Palestinian Liwaa Al Quds (Al-Quds Brigade)… Liwaa Al Quds is a pro- government Palestinian paramilitary faction made up of the Palestinians who have been driven out of their homes in the Handarat Camp once Islamist militants took over the neighborhood… The sickening video shows a knife-wielding fighter beheading the child who has been laid down on the trunk with his hand cuffed behind his back.’
Video footage is available, but I’d generally recommend not watching it.
The Daily Beast confirmed, “The front includes not only hardline Salafist factions from the groups known as the Islamic Front but more moderate brigades like the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Mujahideen Army and Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, a militia that has also received TOW missiles from Washington in the past.”
This wouldn’t actually be the first time by any means that Syrian rebel groups – including so-called ‘moderate’ factions – have murdered children. Similar crimes go back to the earliest months of the fighting in Syria, in which some of the worst and most inhuman crimes had been carried out by members of the ‘moderate’ Free Syrian Army.
While it is widely disputed that there were *ever* any ‘moderate’ factions fighting against the government in Syria (moderate protesters, yes – but ‘moderate’ armed groups, not so much), Western officials have tried to maintain that illusion for the entirety of the Syrian Civil War, even after the emergence of ISIL/ISIS, and have continued with that illusion right up until today. Aside from the comedy act of the US State Department, David Cameron was also, months ago, still insisting that the West was supporting ‘moderate fighters’ in Syria – even though there has never been any proof produced to demonstrate this (and plenty of testimony to suggest the opposite).
Months ago, when Western officials condemned the Assad government for breaking the ceasefire and attacking ‘moderate opposition’ in Aleppo, it turned out these ‘moderates’ were Al-Qaeda affiliates.
Now the US State Department is having to backpedal and consider disavowing armed forces it previously insisted were ‘moderate opposition’ – though this distancing act probably won’t last too long. From the very beginning of the conflict, Western officials were throwing the ‘moderate opposition’ camouflage over highly questionable groups that foreign powers were arming in the first place (many of the fighters also being foreign).
Just as in Libya, all armed factions were called ‘moderates’ – then, much later, when ‘ISIS’ emerged and the Al-Qaeda element became obvious, the propaganda strategy evolved to ‘well, ok, there are some extremist groups – but we’re just going to support the moderates now…’
The reality is that there is no distinction anymore. The bullshit goes on. As does the barbarism.
Meanwhile, the French Air-Force – according to some, in ‘revenge’ for Nice – is reported to have killed up to 100 civilians in Syria during intended strikes against ISIS targets. It is alleged that ISIS has been using civilians as human shields again, though in a separate incident an airstrike by the United States appears to have killed some 60 further civilians.