Syrian Islamist factions carried out a series of kidnappings and executions against members of the Alawite and Druze religious minorities in the city of Adra over the past 48 hours, leaving at least 19 civilians dead and many more unaccounted for.
Adra, just outside of Damascus, has traded hands between rebels and government forces repeatedly. The city is split among several religious groups, all of whom had lived together in relative peace until the civil war broke out.
Witnesses reported that the fighters involved in the operation came from Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate, as well as the Islamic Front, an Islamist rebel umbrella which has claimed somewhat more moderate positions.
The death toll at this point remains very preliminary, and some locals claimed it could exceed 40 civilians since so many of the ones taken by the rebels haven’t turned up either alive or dead yet.