Hundreds Reported Slain in Attack on Syrian Alawite Village

Locals Blame Rebels, While Rebels Insist Other Alawites Did It

A massive death toll has been reported over the past two days in attacks on the Alawite village of Aqrab, with some opposition groups saying that as many as 300 may have been killed.

Tolls vary, but most seem in the realm of 150-200, with some higher. The question then is who is responsible for the attacks, and while locals initially pinned the attack on rebels from the nearby town of Houla, the rebels are denying responsibility.

In some narratives, the Syrian government inexplicably attacked the village themselves, bizarre since President Assad is Alawite and the Alawites overwhelmingly support the regime. Other reports claimed a Houla attack led to massive air strikes that killed everybody on both sides.

The most improbable of the claims, coming from foreign pro-rebel activists, is that some random pro-regime militia made up of “other Alawites” deliberately massacred a village full of Alawites for no apparent reason.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of