Free Syrian Army Condemns Reported Executions of Regime Loyalists
The rebel Free Syrian Army on Friday condemned and rejected responsibility for the execution of regime loyalists in the city of Aleppo after a video emerged of the reported killings.
"We strongly condemn this kind of irresponsible behavior and call on all revolutionary forces and the fighters on the ground to condemn such acts," said a statement issued by the FSA's joint command.
The rebel leadership insisted the killings were "unacceptable, isolated and illegal" and that the Free Syrian Army had nothing to do with the people who carried them out.
"These reprehensible acts do not conform with the ethics of the FSA or the Syrian revolution.
"We respect international laws and conventions, notably the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners," said the statement which also called for an investigation.
Amateur video posted on YouTube by activists apparently showed FSA fighters executing regime loyalists from the al-Berri tribe on Tuesday in Aleppo, which the two sides have been battling for control of since July 20.
The gunmen chanted "The FSA forever!" as they led members of the tribe into a square.
The face of one of the captives was covered in blood, and he had been stripped almost naked, as rebels gathered around him and stood him against a wall.
Other captives were lined up next to him, as the rebels chanted "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest).
They opened a torrent of fire on their captives, identified as members of a tribe that entered the fighting on Tuesday in Aleppo on the side of the regime. The al-Berri clan is Sunni while the Assad regime is dominated by Alawites.
"The al-Berri tribe are loyalists to the regime of President Bashar Assad," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"But under no law -- international law or Islamic law -- should anyone execute a prisoner. This is criminal. This is revenge."
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International warned on Wednesday about disturbing reports of "summary executions" by Syrian troops and rebels, calling them "serious violations of international law."