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Friday, November 15, 2013

Syrian rebel 'beheaded in case of mistaken identity'


Syrian rebel 'beheaded in case of mistaken identity'

An photograph purportedly showing Ahrar  al-Sham fighter Mohammed Fares (left)Members of Harakat Ahrar al-Sham recognised Mohammed Fares (left)

An al-Qaeda affiliated rebel group in Syria is reported to have asked for forgiveness after beheading a fellow rebel in a case of mistaken identity.
A video recently posted online showed members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) brandishing the severed, bearded head of a man.
They said was an Iraqi Shia caught fighting on the government side.
But other rebel fighters watching the video recognised the man and said he was one of their commanders.
Prayers
The video shows two ISIS fighters in Aleppo province - one holding a knife - brandish a severed, bearded head, denouncing their victim as an Iraqi volunteer for President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
They decry his immorality, saying he is a heathen - one of those who have threatened rape of men as much as women.
Horrifying videos like this stream out of Syria every day from the rebel and government side - each with the aim of sowing terror.
What makes this one stand out is that other rebels watching the video recognised the beheaded man.
Members of the hardline Islamist rebel group, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham, said he was not a government fighter at all, but one of their own. They said he was a commander called Mohammed Fares.
The story appears to be that he was wounded in the recent battle for Base 80, south of Aleppo, with government forces and was being taken for medical treatment by rebel fighters.
But he seems to have thought he had been captured by government militiamen from the much feared shabiha. The militia is dominated by Alawites, members of the president's heterodox Shia sect.
Mr Fares is reported to have offered prayers that would have made him seem a Shia rather than a Sunni - and therefore on their side.
This was heard by ISIS fighters, and in the growing atmosphere of sectarian hatred, he was then subjected to his savage fate.
The Daily Telegraph quoted ISIS spokesman Omar al-Qahtani as conceding the error.
According to the newspaper, he alluded to a saying by the Prophet Muhammad that Allah forgives those who kill a believer by mistake.