Fighters from the “moderate rebel” group, Nour al-Din al-Zinki movement, reached a new level of brutality with the beheading of a young Syrian boy that appears to be under the age of 12. The Turkish-backed rebels police Aleppo with an iron fist. In Handarat, a Palestinian refugee camp under the control of the rebels, pitched battles between their fighters and allies of the Syrian government have led to a vicious upturn in violence to maintain order in the camp. The young boy was arrested for supposedly being a fighter for the Palestinian Liwaa Al Quds (Al-Quds Brigade).
Up until September 2015, Nour al-Din al-Zinki was a recipient of financial and arms support from the U.S. as part of a group of so-called moderate opposition factions working with a logistics hub partly run by the CIA. The group has also received support from Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The videos surfacing of the beheading are extremely graphic.
In the second clip, a wild-haired, bearded fighter grabs the boy by his hair and pushes him down in the flatbed of a pick-up truck, then furiously saws at his neck with a knife. Once the boy’s head is separated from his body, the militant raises it up to a cheering crowd.
The “moderate rebel” groups, who often work in cooperation with or under the direction of Jahbat al-Nusra, the Al Qaeda branch in Syria, are retreating on multiple fronts in their dual war against the Syrian government and ISIS, while the Syrian government gains ground on both extremist groups. Rebels in Aleppo are desperate to maintain their grasp on the city. The Syrian army has launched fresh offensives, cutting off rebel supply routes and sweeping the countryside.