October 11, 2013 - 14:10 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Syrian army troops and Shi'ite militia fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad retook two southern suburbs of Damascus on Friday, Oct 11, killing at least 70 people, opposition activists said, according to Reuters.
The militia, including fighters from the Lebanese Shi'ite movement Hezbollah and Iraqi Shi'ites backed by Syrian army tanks, combed the suburbs of al-Thiabiya and Husseiniya, a Palestinian refugee camp, after overrunning them, the sources said.
Meanwhile, in a report published Friday, Human Rights Watch said that Jihadi-led rebel fighters in Syria killed at least 190 civilians and abducted more than 200 during an offensive against pro-regime villages, committing a war crime.
The Aug 4 attacks on unarmed civilians in more than a dozen villages in the coastal province of Latakia were systematic and could even amount to a crime against humanity, the HRW said in a 105-page report based on a visit to the area a month later.
Witnesses said rebels went house to house, in some cases executing entire families and in other cases killing men and taking women and children hostages. The villagers belong to the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam which forms the backbone of President Bashar Assad's regime — and which Sunni Muslim extremists consider heretics.
Lama Fakih of Human Rights Watch said the rebel abuses in Latakia "certainly amount to war crimes," and may even rise to the level of crimes against humanity.