Syrian Army: Rebels Massacred Civilians in Hama Province

Claims Factions Aimed at Covering for Losses in Region

by Jason Ditz, December 25, 2012

In a statement released today on Syrian state media, the Syrian Army general command claimed that rebel forces have attacked several towns in Hama Province in recent days and accused them of massacre civilians in some of them.

The army statement was light on details but attributed the incidents to rebel “losses” in the area, claiming that the groups were desperate to make up for their losses by capturing the towns, and had turned on the residents.

It isn’t clear what losses the statement is referring to, but the rebels do appear to have moved against towns like Maan and al-Tleisia with Alawite populations, accusing those towns of housing the army and hindering rebel advances against the highway, which would give them access to a supply route through Turkey.

Though the province is majority Sunni and home to several rebel factions, Hama is also home to a number of Alawite and Christian villages and towns, and rebels have argued that many of those will have to be conquered to prevent the populations aiding the regime.

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