Rebel attacks kill 28 soldiers in Syria's north: watchdog

Syrian rebels killed 28 soldiers in attacks on three army checkpoints on the main road from Damascus to the embattled city of Aleppo on Thursday, in some cases executing wounded prisoners, a watchdog said.

Five rebels were also killed in the attacks near the city of Saraqeb in Syria's northwest, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A video of the attack posted on YouTube -- whose authenticity could not be verified -- showed the rebels beating about 10 wounded soldiers before lining them on the ground and shooting them with automatic rifles.

A rebel is heard telling a prisoner: "Do you not know that we belong to the people of this country?" The soldier replied: "I swear in the name of God I did not fire."

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman condemned the summary killings.

"In the same way the Observatory condemns executions in the regime's prison, it rejects those of prisoners of war by the rebels," he told AFP.

The rebels did not capture the checkpoints, where they would be exposed to regime air strikes, but did seize several armoured vehicles, said the Observatory.

Syria's northwestern Idlib province has become a key battleground in the country's conflict, especially after rebel forces seized the town of Maaret al-Numan on the Damascus-Aleppo road early last month.

Fighting has since raged at the Wadi Deif army base near Maaret al-Numan, where rebel forces have laid siege to regime troops.

by Amal Jayasinghe © 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Nov 1, 2012