Al-Qaeda faction Jabhat al-Nusra has captured the village of Maksar al-Hesan today, east of the Syrian city of Homs, and has killed 22 Alawite civilians, including children, according to pro-rebel faction the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The killings were confirmed by another unnamed rebel faction later in the day, though they claimed that the slain civilians were actually “militia” fighters for a pro-government faction.
Attacks in the Homs Province have recently centered around attempts to take over Alawite towns, forcing the religious minority to retreat southward toward Damascus, where the government still holds sway.
Such fighting has typified the sectarian tone of the civil war in recent months, and the prospect that the war’s endgame, with the overall conflict still stalemated, is now centering around sectarian cleansing on both sides, carving out a Sunni dominated northern region, and an Alawite-run south.
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