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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2013-10-12 17:31:13
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Rights group accuses Syrian rebels of war crimes



October 12, 2013 - A leading human rights group on Friday accused Syrian rebels of war crimes especially in villages supporting the regime. Syrian villagers described watching rebels advance on their homes, as mortars thudded around them. By the end of the August attack, 190 civilians had been killed, including children, the elderly and the handicapped, Human Rights Watch said in its most detailed account of alleged war crimes committed by those fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The New York-based group said the offensive against 14 pro-regime villages in the province of Latakia was planned and led by five Islamic extremist groups, including two linked to al-Qaida. Other rebel groups, including those belonging to the Free Syrian Army, a Western-backed alliance, participated in the campaign, but there is no evidence linking them to war crimes, the 105-page report said.
Human Rights Watch particularly focussed on rebel abuses in the Aug. 4-18 Latakia offensive, compiling a list of 190 civilians killed, at least 67 of which at close range or while trying to flee. The rebels also seized more than 200 civilians from the villages, most of them women and children, and demanded to trade the hostages for prisoners held by the regime, the group said. More than 100,000 Syrians have been killed in the conflict. (Source: AP)




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