Syrian rebels accused of more human rights abuses

Video showing the execution of pro-government soldiers by rebel forces.

 

Video footage posted on the internet shows what appears to be Syrian Rebels summarily executing government soldiers.

The footage shows rebels beating the soldiers before shooting them and represents the latest in a line of allegations of human rights abuses.

The alleged atrocities were committed yesterday during attacks on three army check points around Saraqeb.

Reuters reports that at least twenty soldiers were killed in the third army base and that many of those killed had already surrendered.

The opposition fighters are also accused of having destroyed a bakery in Aleppo’s Atareb town. This destruction killed twelve people and obliterated a source of food for many displaced poor people within the town.

The allegations have been denounced by the UN and by Amnesty International. According to the UN Human Right Council, if the video footage is verified then it could form part of the basis for an international criminal prosecution.

This comes after Hillary Clinton voiced concern the Syrian opposition is being hijacked by radical Islamist elements.

A cohesive international effort to stop Assad’s crippling regime is, however, still far away. Russia and Iran still refuse to join the anti-Assad coalition and are allies of the government.

China, however, is making some movements toward a harder stance against Syria. They have proposed a plan to end the conflict which involves a region-by-region ceasefire and a transitional governing body.

Meanwhile, fighting broke out yesterday in Damascus and government planes bombed areas of the city. One hundred and twenty people are reported to have died in fighting across Syria yesterday.

Today the Free Syria Army emailed the Guardian, claiming to have taken Saraqeb:

“Today the last tank and soldier of Assad’s brigades and shabiha left Saraqeb and the independence flag is flying high in the town. Saraqeb was surrounded by four military checkpoints.

“All of these checkpoints fell after a sophisticated operation. Saraqeb is an important strategic gain as it connects many cities and lies on the highway between Aleppo and Damascus.”

These atrocities are just that, a representation of the basest abuse of human rights, unacceptable even when fighting against a violent tyrant like Assad.

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