Infamous heart-eater militant dead following in-fighting: Syria
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said late on Tuesday that rival militants killed “Khaled al-Hamad, who was known as Abu Sakkar and who was a military commander in al-Nusra, by gunning him down” in Idlib.
The monitor group said Abu Sakkar joined al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda-linked group, nearly a year ago.
The observatory’s head, Rami Abdel Rahman, further said Abu Sakkar was killed in an apparent “settling of accounts” between his group, which controls parts of Idlib province, and other fighters in the area.
A gruesome video emerged on the Internet in May 2013, showing the militant carving the heart of a Syrian soldier out of his chest and eating it.
Abu Sakkar was battling in a militant brigade in Homs Province back then.
The news comes less than a month after the Britain-based observatory reported that infighting has intensified between rival anti-government groups in Idlib.
Militants from 13th Division of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) and al-Nusra Front terrorists engaged in a fighting in Idlib’s Ma’arrat al-Numan district, the monitor group said on March 13, adding the skirmishes left six FSA militants dead and 40 others wounded while dozens more were taken captive.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injuring 1.9 million others, and displacing nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.