Syrian Troops Ambush al-Qaeda Rebels, Report 175 Killed

Rebels Confirm Ambush, Claim Lower Toll

According to Syrian state-run media, the Syrian military ambushed fighters from the al-Qaeda faction Jabhat al-Nusra this morning in Eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus, killing 175 and wounding a large number of others.

The report said the ambush was organized well in advance based on a tip-off, and that most of the slain were foreign fighters, including Saudis, Qataris and Chechens.

Early reports on state media put the toll at “dozens” before the dramatic rise upward. Pro-rebel mouthpiece the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the incident and was initially putting the toll at “about 70,” though it later was revised upward to “156 killed and 10 taken prisoner.”

Hezbollah, which was also involved in the ambush, reported that the rebels were trying to cross Ghouta to join battles along the border with Jordan.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.