Anger as Lebanese bid farewell to soldier beheaded by ISIS


ali sayed funeral 3
Thousands of angry mourners on Wednesday buried a Lebanese soldier beheaded by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants after an emotional funeral march, accusing the government of neglect for failing to negotiate his release.

The furor over the gruesome death of Sgt. Ali Sayid, 29, came as the government races to try free around two dozen more members of the country’s security forces who remain held captive by Syria-based militants, including the extremist Islamic State group.

“He was betrayed by all the politicians, all of them! By parliamentarians and officials, and by the country. He was sold for a cheap price!” Sayid’s uncle, Ahmad Sayid, shouted during the funeral, in a tearful speech carried on Lebanese television.

As he spoke, mourners fired guns in the air, packing the main street of his impoverished northern Lebanese hometown of Fnaydek. They jostled to help to carry the coffin, wrapped in a Lebanese flag. Mourners rocked the coffin side-by-side, a Lebanese tradition that acknowledges the youth of the dead person, as they marched below a large banner of Sayid.

he brother of Lebanese Sgt. Ali Sayid who was beheaded by Islamic militants, mourns over his coffin during his funeral procession at his home town in Fnaydek, Akkar north Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.
he brother of Lebanese Sgt. Ali Sayid who was beheaded by Islamic militants, mourns over his coffin during his funeral procession at his home town in Fnaydek, Akkar north Lebanon, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.

Sayid, a Sunni, went missing as militants from Syria overran the border town of Arsal for several days in August, kidnapping and killing soldiers and police. The incursion was the most serious spillover yet of the neighboring Syrian civil war. The militants included the Islamic State group and al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, both of whom are holding captives.

Sayid surfaced in a video later announcing his defection from the army and his loyalty to the Islamic State group, but he may have spoken under duress. Later, another video surfaced of Sayid being decapitated by militants of the Islamic State group, according to photos posted on social networks on Aug. 28.

ali sayed funeralFamilies have demonstrated throughout Lebanon demanding the captives’ release, blocking roads and setting up protest tents. There are an estimated 14 policemen and 12 soldiers still in militant custody, according to a count by rights group Human Rights Watch. At least ten of the soldiers are being held by the Islamic State group, said a Sunni Muslim cleric previously involved in negotiations to release the men.

Islamic State group has swept through northern and western Iraq from its stronghold in neighboring Syria. It follows an ultra-conservative, violent interpretation of Islam and has been accused by rights groups and the United Nations of committing war crimes, including the mass killings of soldiers, Shiite Muslims and followers of the ancient Yazidi faith in Iraq.

ali sayed funeral 1On Tuesday, the group released a video that showed an Islamic State fighter beheading captive U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff.

To try halt their spread, the U.S. has conducted airstrikes in northern Iraq and shipped new weapons to Lebanon’s military, including automatic rifles, mortars and anti-tank artillery.

The soldiers’ captivity threatens to erode the Lebanese military’s moral, analysts say.

“Subjugating the soldiers to a terrifying destiny without the military institution being able to protect its own, or to negotiate a safe passage for their release, undermines the credibility of the institution, and undermines the general morale of its soldiers,” Lebanese political scientist Imad Salamey said.




One response to “Anger as Lebanese bid farewell to soldier beheaded by ISIS”

  1. Heart wrenching images of something that did NOT have to take place, however the personality of the savage beast is that it smiles as it feeds its ego by making sure it gets notice and attention, like everything in life there is a side effect that comes with the package and their very moment of feeling strong and in control will serve as their very weakness and cause of demise.