Reports from Syria indicate members of the Free Syrian Army have started executing Christians while claiming they’re shooting Syrian soldiers.
A video of a Nov. 1 attack in which black-clad Syrian rebels reportedly killed 28 men has been posted on Youtube.com. An Agence France-Presse story on the attack identified the victims as Syrian soldiers.
But Religious Freedom Coalition President William Murray said two of the victims were associated with his cooperating organization in Syria, which distributes aid.
The victims were not soldiers, he said, but civilians from the same neighborhood, “so they were all probably Christians.”
He argued that even a brief review of photos of the attack indicates the victims were civilians.
“They were not armed and never were combatants,” Murray said.
A human rights activist working in Syria whose name has been withheld for security reasons said two of the men were Christians.
“Two of the men I am sure were Christians and were first kidnapped from their neighborhood, then taken out and shot,” the activist said.
Act for America President and Founder Brigitte Gabriel said it’s well known that the Syrian rebels are executing Christians.
“The Syrians without a doubt are executing Christians. They are notorious for their tactical torture of their enemies,” Gabriel said.
“Those people rising against Assad and being crushed are all Muslim Brotherhood whom Bashir Assad’s father, Hafez Assad, crushed 30 years ago in Hama,” Gabriel said.
Gabriel added that the rebels feel empowered, which only fuels their hatred of Christians.
“Now they are feeling empowered after what they saw in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. They feel this is their opportunity. They despise the Christians living in Syria and would love to either convert them or kill them,” Gabriel said.
Murray said the executions themselves prove that it’s the rebels who are pulling the trigger.
“When the Syrian Army takes prisoners, they photograph them and display the photos,” Murray said.
The shootings took place as al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said in a radio message to boost the morale of Somali affiliate al-Shabaab fighters that the raids on the U. S. facilities in Cairo and Benghazi were “defeats for the U.S.”
“They were defeated in Iraq and they are withdrawing from Afghanistan, and their ambassador in Benghazi was killed and the flags of their embassies were lowered in Cairo and Sana’a, and in their places were raised the flags of tawhid (monotheism) and jihad,” the al-Qaida leader was quoted in a report by terrorism analyst and journalist Thomas Joscelyn.
Murray said that if any further evidence of the policy’s misguided nature was needed, it can be found in the latest edition of the Middle East Media Research Institute reports.
MEMRI reports Syrian rebels claim that ousting Assad is only the first step. The rebels want to impose Islamic law on Syria.
Murray said the rebels’ intentions are obvious because they fly the jihadist black flag.
“The fighters wear black bandanas inscribed with the Islamic declaration of faith. They fly the black flag of jihad and al-Qaida,” Murray said.
“If this were a real democracy uprising, there wouldn’t be the intense display of religious symbols,” Murray said.
Murray added that once again, the evidence shows Washington’s unwillingness to face reality.
“This proves again that we’re doing battle with an entity we truly do not understand,” Murray said.
Murray added that the executions along with the MEMRI report and al-Zawahiri’s message point to the dangerous course the United States was pursuing in Syria by allegedly assigning Ambassador Christopher Stevens to operate a weapons pipeline from Libya to Syria by way of Turkey.
WND reported recently that Stevens’ purpose for being in Libya was to move weapons to Syria.
Stevens’ involvement in Libya goes back over a year, when intelligence analysts reported that he was appointed initially as the official U. S. representative to the rebel army.
He was only elevated to the ambassadorship after the overthrow of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
In Libya, Stevens’ major mission reportedly was to funnel weapons, including RPGs and other bigger weapons, to Syria.
WND reported in the same story that Stevens’ mission put him in direct contact with al-Qaida and other jihadist groups.
Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow Clare Lopez said that Stevens and top administration officials knew that Libya’s opposition movement was populated by elements of several radical jihadi groups including al-Qaida, Ansar al-Shariah and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
Guerrilla warrior Abdelhakim Belhadj organized the FILG in 1990 after returning home from Afghanistan, where he had fought with the Afghan Mujahedeen against the Soviets.
Lopez says Belhadj organized the FILG for one reason — to overthrow Gadhafi.
Belhadi’s group was absorbed by al-Qaida in 2007, but Lopez added that somewhere along the way, Belhadj was intercepted by the CIA and returned to Libya where Gadhafi threw him in jail.