Friday, November 2, 2012
BEIRUT — A new video appears to show Syrian rebels killing a group of captured soldiers, spraying them with bullets as they lay on the ground. Human rights groups today warned that the gunmen may have committed a war crime.
The killings took place Thursday during an assault by rebels on the northern town of Saraqeb.
The video raises concerns over brutality among some rebels just ahead of a major conference this weekend in Qatar at which the United States is trying to unify the opposition under a new leadership. Washington and its allies have been hesitant to give stronger support to the rebellion in part because of worries over its multiple divisions and lack of organization.
Reports of serious human rights abuses by elements within the armed opposition have been on the rise, badly damaging the rebels’ claims of moral high ground in the civil war and fueling concerns that they are capable of a brutality matching that of the regime they are seeking to topple.