A video depicting a Syrian opposition group member eating organs from the corpse of a slain soldier was posted on YouTube Sunday, by supporters of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
The rebel commander, who is referred to as Abu Sakkar in the video, stands in a dirt ditch, hovering over the body of what appears to be a government soldier. The soldier's chest has been torn open, his skin flapped back to reveal red innards.
Sakkar produces a knife, and saws into the soldier's sternum.
"God bless you, Abu Sakkar," a voice from off-camera says. "You look like you are drawing a heart of love on him."
Sakkar then holds up the organ up to his face, threatening President Bashar al-Assad and the Alawite religious minority to which the Assads belong. He also mentions Baba Amr, a neighborhood in the city of Homs, where the Syrian government rained bombs down for weeks.
"I swear to God, soldiers of Bashar, you dogs-we will eat your heart and livers!" he says. "God is great! Oh, my heroes of Baba Amr, you slaughter the Alawites and take their hearts out to eat them!"
He holds the remains closer to his face, then opens his mouth, appearing to take a bite.
Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group based in New York, issued a statement Monday that identified the man in the video as Khalid al-Hamad, according to a recent New York Times article. They say he is the leader of a sub-group of the Free Syrian Army called the Farouq Brigades-a crew of about 60 men operating out of Homs that HRW alleges is responsible for bombing two Shiite villages in Lebanon.
TIME interviewed al-Hamad, who told the publication that he had "no regrets."
He explained his reasoning behind cutting out the soldier's insides, saying: "We opened his cell phone, and I found a clip of a woman and her two daughters fully naked and he was humiliating them, and sticking a stick here and there."
According to the interview, Al-Hamad is a Sunni, and has a long-standing hatred for Alawite Muslims-an issue that is nothing new for Syria, where religious disputes have historically rocked political and societal affairs.
Not only has the video incited widespread commentary, it has slightly shifted the public opinion of the war in Syria.
Western countries have supported the opposition since it first began fighting the Assad regime during the Arab Spring of 2011, protesting what they called Assad's "murderous" rule that deprived them of basic human rights.
But now, the fight has shifted from battling an oppressive government to engaging in sectarian-related combat.
The country is largely divided by the Sunni bourgeoisie majority, Shi'a religious sect, and the Alawite ruling minority. The minority regime is tied to monetary and political interests that could only be harmed if the minority system is gone. This makes it much harder for the regime to compromise on many social issues, since it isn't the norm for a minority to hold such power.
In his interview, Al-Hamad points out that the revolution, which began peacefully, has become increasingly violent.
"They were the ones who slaughtered the children and women in Bayda. We didn't start it, they started it. Our slogan is: an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."
The UN General Assembly is scheduled to vote on a resolution calling for a transitional government in the coming days, Al Jazeera reported Wednesday.