Claims of a new mass killing at the hands of the Syrian government this week came alongside accusations from human rights groups that opposition fighters have engaged in reprisal killings and extrajudicial executions of regime loyalists.
As violent as the Assad regime has been, both sides in Syria have been committing crimes from the beginning. But following rebel gains in recent weeks, evidence of their on crimes is becoming more frequent.
A video circulated early this week which purportedly showed the execution of government supporters by rebel fighters in Aleppo. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton last week warned the rebels, who are receiving America’s support, against revenge killings. She asked that they “not engage in any reprisals and retribution that could lead to even greater violence than currently is taking place.”
Amnesty International issued a report last week that raised alarms about a number of videos “depicting individuals being summarily killed by members of Syrian armed opposition groups.”
Almost three months ago, a United Nations investigation found that both Syrian government forces and rebel militias trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad committed serious human rights abuses. The increase in rebel crimes has increased in tandem with expanded US support as well as the increased infiltration of al-Qaeda and other Sunni extremists.