The brief rebel-offensive against the Damascus suburb of Adra, and the Syrian military is once again in control. As usual, it was the civilians that bore the brunt of the clash, with reports of mass kidnappings and 80 civilians executed by the rebels before they were ousted.
The rebels, identified as al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra faction by locals, began targeting Druze, Alawite and Christian residents early on in the siege of the city, kidnapping them en masse.
The military insisted that the rebels were using the kidnapped as human shields, but locals say that by and large they were just executed outright, and that when the kidnappings began, many members of the religious minorities hid in their basements, waiting for the rebels to leave.
Early reports had claimed Nusra fighters were working alongside the Islamic Front rebels, who are being courted by the US as the new “pro-West” faction. The locals haven’t mentioned Islamic Front in their accounts, however, claiming foreign fighters for Nusra were operating on their own.