A video posted online on Sunday shows Abu Sakkar, the leader of the Syrian rebel group Farouq Brigade, taking a bite out of the heart of a dead Syrian soldier. Sakkar is shown cutting into the torso of the soldier and saying to his comrades, “I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog,” Reuters reports.
His companions cheer “Allahu akbar” off screen. Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch called the videos a disturbing symbol of the changing tide of the Syrian conflict.
“The mutilation of the bodies of enemies is a war crime. But the even more serious issue is the very rapid descent into sectarian rhetoric and violence,” Bouckaert said.
The conflict started with peaceful protests in 2011, but turned into a violent civil war that has seen over 80,000 casualties.