Syrian Rebels Accidentally Behead a Syrian Rebel

Al-Qaeda linked group apologizes
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2013 3:25 PM CST
Syrian rebels are seen in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Edlib News Network ENN, File)

(Newser) – Everybody makes mistakes at work. Here at Newser, that means making a typo. For fighters in al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel groups, it means beheading the wrong guy. Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria posted a video online recently in which they showed off a severed, bearded head, saying it belonged to an Iraqi volunteer for President Bashar al-Assad's forces. That would have been par for the course for Syria, had another Islamist rebel group not recognized the head as belonging to one of its commanders, the BBC reports.

After being wounded in battle, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham commander Fares Maroush apparently believed he'd been captured by a pro-government militia, so he said a prayer that would mark him as a Shiite—and likely governent ally. But he was actually being taken to the hospital by the ISIS, and when they heard the prayer they took it at face value and killed him. ISIS has apologized, asking for "understanding and forgiveness," the Telegraph reports. A spokesman pointed out a Koran passage saying Allah would forgive someone who killed in error. (Read more beheading stories.)

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