In one of the more shocking videos released in the Syrian civil war, Syrian Rebel commander Abu Sakkar, known to journalists and revered by many rebels, was shown on Sunday cutting organs out of a dead soldier and biting into his heart.
Addressing the camera as he ripped the flesh, Abu Sakkar said: "I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers," he warned President Bashar Assad's forces as his men cheered. The video can be seen here.
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Sakkar was a founding member of the Farouq Brigade, one of the main rebel units in Syria, but has since formed his own battalion as the opposition fragments. In the mosaic of hundreds of opposition groups, Sakkar's men are seen as neither secular nor hardline Islamists, but as some of the hardiest fighters.
Abu Sakkar in the video
Reinoud Leenders, an associate professor in the war studies department of King's College London, says that these brutal displays are used as a tool of war by both sides.
"It's the ultimate expression of disrespect and dehumanizing your opponent," he said.
In the face of an insurgency, he says, Assad's forces have used mass killings and torture to root out rebel fighters hiding among civilians.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday that at least 94,000 people have been killed during Syria's two-year conflict, but the death toll is likely to be as high as 120,000.
The group said that at least 41,000 of those confirmed killed were Alawites, the sect of President Bashar Assad.
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