Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

November 2, 2012

Syria rebels said to kill captured troops

BEIRUT (AP) — A new video appears to show Syrian rebels killing a group of captured soldiers, spraying them with bullets as they lay on the ground. Human rights groups on Friday warned that the gunmen may have committed a war crime.

The video raises concerns over brutality among some rebels just ahead of a major conference this weekend in Qatar at which the United States is trying to unify the opposition under a new leadership. Washington and its allies have been hesitant to give stronger support to the rebellion in part because of worries over its multiple divisions and lack of organization.

The killings took place Thursday during an assault by rebels on the northern town of Saraqeb, the scene of heavy fighting in past weeks between rebels and forces of President Bashar Assad's regime, according to an anti-regime activist organization, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Rebels are now in full control of Saraqeb after regime troops pulled back during Thursday's fighting, the Observatory said. That gives the rebels a strategic point on the main highway linking Syria's largest city Aleppo — which rebels have been trying to capture for months — with the regime stronghold of Latakia on the Mediterranean coast.

Reports of serious human rights abuses by elements within the armed opposition have been on the rise, badly damaging the rebels' claims of moral high ground in the civil war and fueling concerns that they are capable of a brutality matching that of the regime they are seeking to topple.

The issue is complicated by the fragmented nature of the rebellion. Even rebel units nominally under the umbrella Free Syrian Army group operate independently, and as the 19-month-old conflict drags on, criminals, foreign Islamic militants and other renegades have joined in the fight against Assad.

Text Only
National and World
Local News
AP Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners
Sister Newspapers' News