A video has sparked a flurry of reactions among Syrian bloggers: it shows the brutal interrogation of an officer captured by the Free Syrian Army
(FSA), a combat force made up of soldiers who have deserted the regular army to support anti-government protests. The FRANCE 24 Observers team has been able to authenticate the video. When questioned about its content, an army deserter now working with the FSA suggested that in times such as these, the ends justify the means.
WARNING: This video may be considered disturbing.
This video was first posted on YouTube on October 20, 2011, and has recently resurfaced. The recording bears the logo of the Farouk brigade, a group of rebel fighters linked to the Free Syrian Army and based in the eastern city of Homs. The prisoner being interrogated is presented as a member of the Syrian Air Force’s secret service. Forty-four seconds into the video he can be heard saying that he is from Deraa but that he was in deployment in Homs, in the neighbourhoods of Diar Baalbeh, Bayadah and Khaldiyeh. At 1’01 minutes, he says that he was ordered to shoot to kill, and that he had opened fire on demonstrators in other cities at various times since the start of the protest movement.
At 1’59 minutes, the interrogator asks him whether he has a last wish to express before he dies. Asked whether he regrets what he has done, the prisoner replies: “yes, very much.” The interrogator then continues to sermon him, ordering him to “look up, son of a bitch” (at 2’48 minutes). The video ends with the question: “Then why didn’t you desert?”
Some bloggers have compared the FSA’s methods to those of the regular Syrian army. Others claim that the video is entirely fabricated by Syrian secret services or supporters of president Bashar al Assad to tarnish the image of the Free Syrian Army. However, our team has been able to verify this video and confirm its authenticity.