Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
03:20 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
30 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Islamist fighters seize Alawite village in central Syria
Reuters
Free Syrian Army fighters sit together near a truck carrying an anti-aircraft weapon in Tal Al Nasiriyah in Hama province February 5, 2014. Picture taken February 5, 2014.  REUTERS/Mouaz Alomar
Free Syrian Army fighters sit together near a truck carrying an anti-aircraft weapon in Tal Al Nasiriyah in Hama province February 5, 2014. Picture taken February 5, 2014. REUTERS/Mouaz Alomar
A+ A-

BEIRUT: Islamist fighters battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces seized control of an Alawite village in the central province of Hama on Sunday, part of an offensive to try to cut off supply routes from Damascus to the north of the country.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the Islamists killed 25 people in the village of Maan, mainly from a pro-Assad National Defence Force militia.

But the government said the dead were mainly women and children and accused the fighters of committing a massacre on the eve of the resumption of peace talks in Geneva.

Residents of Maan, around 5 miles (8 km) east of Syria's main north-south highway, are from the same Alawite minority as the Assad family which has ruled Syria for the last four decades.

Rebels fighting to overthrow Assad are overwhelmingly from the country's Sunni Muslim majority, backed by Islamist and jihadi fighters from across the Islamic world.

"This massacre isn't the first," Social Affairs Minister Kind al-Shamat told Syrian television, saying similar attacks had taken place during the nearly three-year conflict and been ignored by the outside world.

"We feel the insistence of the international community, including those attending Geneva, to divert attention to areas which are not suffering to the same extent as these regions."

"Unfortunately we don't hear condemnation from any international organisation of these massacres taking place in these villages," she said.

Video footage released on Sunday showed a rebel fighter performing Muslim prayers on top of a municipal building after the seizure of Maan, one of several sites in Hama targeted by the rebels in recent days. Another video showed the dead body of a pro-Assad fighter.

The Observatory said most women and children had been evacuated from the village before it was taken over.

In other fighting in Hama province, the Observatory said 20 members of the security forces and National Defence Force had been killed on Saturday when a fighter from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front blew up a car at a checkpoint in al-Jalma village.

Twelve rebels were also killed on Sunday in clashes in eastern, northern and western areas of rural Hama, it said.

More than 130,000 people, including civilians, rebel fighters and Assad's forces, have been killed in nearly three years of conflict.

The first face-to-face peace talks between government and opposition delegates in Geneva have failed to stem the bloodshed, with Saturday's death toll exceeding 300, according to figures compiled by the Britain-based Observatory.

 
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Syria
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Story Summary
Islamist fighters battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces seized control of an Alawite village in the central province of Hama on Sunday, part of an offensive to try to cut off supply routes from Damascus to the north of the country.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the Islamists killed 25 people in the village of Maan, mainly from a pro-Assad National Defence Force militia.

Rebels fighting to overthrow Assad are overwhelmingly from the country's Sunni Muslim majority, backed by Islamist and jihadi fighters from across the Islamic world.

More than 130,000 people, including civilians, rebel fighters and Assad's forces, have been killed in nearly three years of conflict.
Related Articles
 
 
Rebels take northern Syrian town on main highway: activists
 
 
Syria opposition says chief visits Latakia
 
 
Fear and loathing descending on Latakia
Entities
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 24, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS