The rebels were members of Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, which receives arms and money from the US government as part of the coalition of rebel groups trying to overthrow the Syrian government. Al-Zenki receives money directly from the CIA and was one of the groups given anti-tank missiles by the US.
Al-Zenki claimed the 11-year-old boy, who was of Palestinian ethnicity, was a spy aligned with Syrian government forces. Video shows the al-Zenki rebels laughing and teasing the boy before cutting his head off with a dull blade then throwing his head into the back of a pickup truck.
The video sparked outrage on social media, especially because it was from one of the so-called “moderate” rebel groups that America was backing. State Department spokesman Jack Kirby responded to the controversy by raising questions of whether al-Zenki were really the culprits before concluding, “Regardless of who may be culpable, we strongly condemn what appears to be the brutal murder of a minor.”
According to Amnesty International, al-Zenki has been part of a “chilling wave of abductions, torture and summary killings.” The report makes clear that the gruesome beheading is far from an anomaly.
Al-Zenki’s brutality is not the only problem for the US. The group is closely aligned with Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Al Nusra Front, and considers itself to be part of a Sunni jihadist war. In the event al-Zenki prevailed in overthrowing the Syrian government, there is a high likelihood al-Zenki would be part of a genocidal campaign against Shiites and other religious minorities in Syria.
President Barack Obama infamously bypassed a rule against arming terrorists to start throwing weapons into the Syrian Civil War. Those weapons are now in the hands of terrorists and brutal militants that see the United States ultimately as an enemy, even if they are happy to make temporary alliances.
But as bad as the PR was for al-Zenki, the Obama Administration was even more back on its heels this week when it was revealed that a US air strike killed nearly 60 Syrian civilians mistakenly believe to be ISIS fighters.
The US is really winning the hearts and minds of the people in Syria, in the sense that it’s tearing people’s torsos apart with bombs and funding terrorists who cut people’s heads off.