Brutality of rebels problematic for West

Rappler.com

WARNING: This video contains graphic scenes some viewers may find disturbing


As a US strike on Syria looms, a video of Syrian rebels executing soldiers raises fears American military action could strengthen Islamic extremists and criminals. The New York Times reports, the video of the men casually posing over their prisoners on the ground, reciting a poem about revenge and firing a bullet into the back of their heads highlights the “increasingly criminal environment populated by gangs of highwaymen, kidnappers and killers” in Syria. On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry told Republican Representative Michael McCaul that there is a “real moderate opposition that exists” and estimates the extremists at around 15% to 20%. McCaul responded by saying he was told half of the opposition fighters were extremists. American officials are focusing on 2 groups with Al Qaeda ties: the Nusra Front and the Islamic State which have reportedly established a presence in Aleppo and Idlib Provinces. Analysts and diplomats say extremists are less focused on overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad than “establishing a zone of influence.”

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