Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Syria's rebels: Fewer innocents

    Wednesday, November 07, 2012   No comments

A RECENT video showing a group of rebels kicking men, bound with ropes, before killing them has raised concerns about Syria’s opposition fighters. The UN says the killings, which were captured on camera in a checkpoint raid during a battle to take control of the town of Saraqeb, may be a war crime. Members of the Syrian opposition have condemned the killings, highlighting the growing divisions within forces battling against Bashar Assad. Others have tried to write off the violence, saying extremists or Salafists, whose numbers are increasing among the fighters, were responsible.

But in the three months since rebels in Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city, executed a group of regime militiamen in a school playground in July, the UN and Human Rights Watch (HRW), an advocacy group, have documented an increasing number of such crimes. "We need to be clear that opposition crimes do not approach the systematic crimes by the regime that account for the majority of the deaths in Syria," says Nadim Houry of HRW. "But we have documented grave acts by the rebel fighters in Aleppo, Idleb and Latakia that are likely to be happening elsewhere too."


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