A video recently surfaced that allegedly shows a branch of the Syrian army forming a platoon of suicide bombers. The video, uncovered and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on December 30, has not been independently verified outside of MEMRI experts.
“We, the commandos of the Mountain Battalion, declare, from the peak of Mount Nabi Yunis, the establishment of a martyrdom-seeking platoon,” said one man. “This is our response to all the foreigners who have distorted the religion of Islam, and have defiled the soil of our country.”
The Syrian Civil War began three years ago as rebel groups began launching attacks intended to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. The war has become increasingly deadly, with violence exacerbated by the growing presence of the Islamic State and its proclamation of the Syrian city of Raqqa as its “capital.” Islamic State terrorists have destroyed historic sites, kidnapped thousands women and girls for slavery, and slaughtered anyone who refuses to bow to their rules.
“The language of killing has never been taught on the land of Syria,” said the speaker. “Our language is the language of defending the country and its master against all those who have sold their souls to Satan and his followers. We are ready to sacrifice our lives so that the banner of Truth will fly high. May the Syrian flag continue to be a beacon to all the free people of the world, and continue to fly over every inch of our beloved Syrian land.”
Syria’s recent history is littered with civil rights abuses. In 2010, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that al-Assad failed to improve human rights in his first ten years in power. HRW reported the regime arrests journalists and bloggers “and tried in a state security court for exercising their right to freedom of expression.” The Kurds in Syria faced “discrimination and harassment.”
“Remember us when you celebrate victory,” the speaker finished. “Oh Syria, we respond to your call! Oh Syria, we respond to your call! Oh Syria, we respond to your call! Oh Syria, we respond to your call!”
In December, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that an estimated 202,354 people had died in Syria since March 2011.
“Of the total, 63,074 of the killed were civilians, including 10,377 children,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, the organization’s director.