Zarif Slams the Usual Deafeaning and Blind Hypocrisy after West's Sponsored Terrorist Group Beheads Child in Syria
TEHRAN (Dispatches) – Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif chided the United States and its allies Friday as hypocrites on Twitter, accusing Washington of "deafening" silence over the beheading of a child by American-backed "moderate” militants in Syria.
"Apparently western-backed terrorists beheading a 12-year innocent boy in #Syria is the new normal," Zarif said in his English-language tweet.
"Western silence is deafening,” the foreign minister said, repudiating "hypocrisy” of the U.S. and its allies.
Militants of the Noureddin al-Zinki group, that fights the Syrian government under the umbrella of the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army, did the beheading in Aleppo. The gruesome murder was captured on video and published online, triggering an instant backlash against the group.
The victim was identified by activists on social media as Mahmoud Issa, a 12-year-old Palestinian. The Syrian government also denounced the "repulsive crime" against an innocent child in a statement to the United Nations, saying the boy was a Palestinian from the Palestinian refugee camp of Handarat on the edge of Aleppo.
The incident allegedly occurred in Handarat, near Aleppo, on Tuesday. A young boy is seen on the back of a pickup truck surrounded by armed men who accuse him of being a spy and a member of the Quds Brigade, a pro-government Palestinian militia. He is then beheaded with a knife by one of them.
The Quds Brigade, in a statement posted on its Facebook page, strongly denied that Issa was a fighter, adding that the boy was ill. It said he was killed by a "terrorist" who lost his brother in battles near Handarat apparently as revenge.
Noureddin al-Zinki, which operates mainly in Aleppo, has received support in the past from the United States.
Amnesty International said the video is the latest "abhorrent signal" that opposition groups are carrying out serious abuses with impunity.
"This horrific video showing the beheading of a boy suggests some members of armed groups have truly plumbed the depths of depravity. It is yet another gruesome example of the summary killing of captives, which amounts to a war crime," said Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Program.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he has seen the "appalling report" but could not confirm it happened. "Obviously we're very concerned certainly if it's accurate," he said, adding that if the report is proven it would "give us pause about any assistance or, frankly, any further involvement with this group."
Lebanon's Hezbollah group, whose fighters are fighting alongside President Bashar Assad's forces against the militants, described the beheading as a "disgusting crime" by "so-called moderate rebels backed by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia."
The Syrian army is currently fighting the militants and Takfiri terrorists such as Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in Aleppo and has besieged them in the city. On Sunday, government troops completely cut off the only main road used by militants into Syria's second biggest city.
Kerry said he had urged Russia to use its influence on Syria to halt military attacks on what it regards as moderate groups and "civilians.” Those remarks came after airstrikes by the U.S. and France inside Syria killed as many as 140 civilians in Aleppo.
Kerry emphasized the need to end all attempts to besiege Aleppo and other besieged towns, according to State Department Spokesperson John Kirby.
Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the U.S. had asked Moscow to stop conducting airstrikes against Nusra Front terrorists in Syria.
Russia has long insisted that the "moderate” militants supported by the US in Syria should leave the areas held by Nusra militants, which are targeted in the Russian air campaign.
Claiming it is unable to remove the opposition groups, Washington, however, has called on Moscow not to carry out airstrikes against Nusra terrorist group.
In May, Britain, France, the U.S. and Ukraine blocked Russia’s request to add Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham militant groups to a UN terror blacklist and sideline them from the Syrian peace process.
Meanwhile, many members of "moderate" groups have joined the most brutal militants with their advanced weapons, including U.S.-made BGM-71 TOW missiles which terrorists widely use in their attacks against the Syrian government.