Gruesome video footage has emerged of Syrian rebels beheading a young boy, in what leaders of the group involved called an “individual mistake.”
The video that emerged on social media showed a visibly frightened boy lying in the back of a truck alongside what appeared to be several rebel fighters.
The rebels claimed the boy was a prisoner from Liwa al-Quds — a pro-regime militia force made up mostly of Palestinians in Syria — and that he was captured from an unofficial refugee camp north of war-torn Aleppo.
The footage then shows one of the men taking a knife to the child’s head. The boy appears to be quite young, perhaps around 10, though CNN cannot verify his age or identity.
But al-Quds denied the boy had anything to do with the group, saying that he was not a prisoner and lived with his family — “one among a number of poor families living in areas controlled by the terrorists.”
In a statement posted on their Facebook page, the rebel group involved, Nour al-Din Zenky Movement, called the killing an “individual mistake” and said it would investigate “the human rights abuses that were shared on social media sites.”
The group is engaged in a bloody war against forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
The statement added that such abuses are “individual errors that represent neither our typical practices nor our general policies.” It added that the men involved had been detained and turned over to a “judicial committee” appointed to lead the investigation.