Syria Government, Rebels Both Accused of Aleppo Massacre

Monday, 29 Jul 2013 12:45 PM

By Joel Himelfarb

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President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the Syrian opposition both committed atrocities last week in the battle for Aleppo, according to a human-rights monitoring group.
 
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which sympathizes with the opposition, posted a video Friday showing what it said was the execution of 51 government soldiers after surrendering to rebel forces.
 
The video, dated Wednesday, showed what appeared to be an execution ground, the New York Times reported, with dozens of lifeless bodies piled against a wall ridden with bullet holes.
 
The Syrian Observatory’s founder, Rami Abdulrahman, said the killers were members of the Nusra Front and Ansar al-Khalafa al-Islamiya Brigade. Both are among the al-Qaida-affiliated jihadist groups that are fighting to overthrow the Assad regime.
 
The Times said it is still trying to confirm the authenticity of the video. If it is verified, “the killings would rank among the worst mass executions carried out by the rebel side,” the paper said.
 
Meanwhile, a missile attack by government forces on Aleppo Friday night killed at least 29 people, including 19 children, according to the SOHR.
 
The missile struck a neighborhood in southern Aleppo that was home to a number of rebel groups including the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq. Assad’s forces “have stepped up the use of such missiles, which often reduce city blocks to rubble,” the Times reported.

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