A purported massacre by the Syrian army near Hama on Thursday has turned out to be a battle between government forces and armed rebel militias, in another example of Western leaders hyping Syrian rebel propaganda.
After the battle, online videos and news reports detailed the heavy casualties sustained by the rebel forces making it out to be a massacre of mostly unarmed opposition members by Syrian forces. Spokesmen for the opposition claimed the number of dead to be as high as 250, prompting Western leaders like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to express “outrage.”
New details of the incident, however, reveal the death count to have been much less, around 100. Almost all of those killed were men of military age who were armed and engaged in a battle with government forces.
“Although what actually happened in Tremseh remains murky,” reports the New York Times, “the evidence available suggested that events on Thursday more closely followed the Syrian government account.” That is, a battle between regime forces and rebel militias, rather than a slaughter of unarmed civilians, as was claimed by the opposition and subsequently touted by Western officials.