Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) have publicly displayed in Aleppo what they claim was the decapitated head of an Iraqi Shiite pro-regime militiaman, amid claims the dead man was actually a rebel fighter.
The contents of the video could not be independently verified, but the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that while ISIS militants were responsible for the grisly incident, they had in fact killed an anti-regime rebel from an Islamist militia.
The Observatory said the man was wounded in recent fighting near Aleppo, and was overheard by ISIS militants muttering prayers to the Imams Ali and Hussein, who are venerated by Shiites, while under the influence of anesthetic and awaiting an operation.
The Observatory speculated that the man was merely repeating the last thing he heard before being wounded near Base 80, namely the battle cries of Iraqi and Lebanese Shiites fighting alongside the regime.
Pro-opposition sources claimed that he was from the Ahrar al-Sham network of rebels, and had in fact been wounded in battle. One Salafist commentator maintained that his head remained in the possession of ISIS.
Copyright © 2021, The Daily Star. All rights reserved.