Syrian Rebels Claim 106 Killed in New Homs Massacre

Officials Insist Nothing Happened in Homs

by Jason Ditz, January 17, 2013

Activists linked with the Syrian rebels have issued a report today accusing Syrian government forces of attacking a poor district in the contested city of Homs and committing a massacre, slaughtering 106 civilians, many at knifepoint.

The massacre reportedly happened on Tuesday, at roughly the same time as the attack on Aleppo University in the far north. Rebels gave no indication why the story of the massacre didn’t come out before now.

Syrian officials were quick to dispute the Homs account, insisting that not only were they not responsible for the putative massacre, but that no massacre at all took place. They also claimed that the rebels were using “human shields.”

The widely different accounts reflect the difficulty of reconciling stories pressed by either side for rhetorical gain with the reality on the ground, virtually impossible with no independent media in the area. This incident, like so many others in Syria, will remain uncertain for a long time to come.

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