Talal ad-Daqqaq, the commander of a pro-regime militia in Hama, is considered by many to be the fiercest fighter in the province. The militant has been accused of gross violations against countless civilians, including unlawful arrest, kidnapping or exchanging them for large ransoms.
A leaked document from the Military Security Branch in Hama states his involvement in horrific abuses against detainees and abductees, claiming ad-Daqqaq fed a pet lion victims’ flesh after killing them.
Document No. 11201 issued on September 11, 2015, says that "a source in Hama Military Airport informed the Military Security Branch that ad-Daqqaq has been raising a small lion he stole from one of the zoo.” The document adds that "ad-Daqqaq feeds the cub flesh of the abductees he kills."
According to the same document, ad-Daqqaq is known to have boasted about his actions, stating several times that "he cut the flesh of living terrorists to fed to his lion as punishment." The official document also states that "ad-Daqqaq kidnaped more than 100 people from Hama and its countryside within a period of two years, all of whom were executed."
The document explains that regime intelligence services were informed about his activities since 2014, stating that ad-Daqqaq was not alone in the kidnapping and killing of civilians, as the document also mentions violations by Ali as-Silla, Salah al-Assi, Musib Salameh, and Mahmoud Afifah – all of whom were involved in the foundation of detention centers in the countryside of Hama. One such center belongs to Salah al-Assi, while another center is located near the village of Baarin, in addition to a farm in the countryside of Salamiyah near Khnefis.
The document says the group also sells human organs and disposes of corpses in several ways, including feeding them to the animals they raise. A source in the Military Security Branch in Hama confirmed that one of ad-Daqqaq’s associates brought a “huge bag of cut meat”, storing it in a refrigerator in a property owned by the brother of Talal ad-Daqqaq.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer