Syrian rebels accused of murdering civilians in Alawite area

Rebels of the Army of Islam. File photo

ARA News

Damascus, Syria – On Tuesday, three civilians were reported dead, including a 6-year-old boy, while seven others were injured when rocket-propelled grenades hit the city of Latakia in western Syria, where Alawites constitute a majority. 

The Army of Islam (a rebel group linked to the Free Syrian Army “FSA”) announced responsibility for firing ten Grad rockets against the regime-held city of Latakia and its suburbs, while press sources in the city of Latakia said that 13 rockets fell on the city, targeting the areas of Jeb Hasan, Saqobin and Ard al-Soufi on the northern outskirts of the city.

The attack caused human losses as well as substantial damage to the residential buildings and agricultural land.

A mass displacement took place in the targeted areas, amid the pro-regime warplanes flying over several parts of the city, local sources told ARA News.

The same sources pointed out that the Syrian regime forces targeted the Salma subdistrict as well as the mountains of the Turkman and al-Akrad in the countryside of Latakia in a clear response to the Army of Islam attacks. 

Commenting on the exchange of firing rockets and missiles, journalist Abdul Salam Mansour told ARA News that civilians are the most harmed parties in these operations, whether they are loyal or opponents to the Assad regime.

“The (Army of Islam) group is apparently targeting civilian neighborhoods which is contrary to what its commander Zahran Alloush has said earlier,” Mansour argued. 

The commander of the Army of Islam stated earlier this week that his group is planning to attack locations of pro-Assad army units in western Syria. 

“He (commander Alloush) said that the possibility of injury may reach up to 95% of the defined military goals, but unfortunately we see the opposite! The victims are mostly civilians; they are also victims of poverty, hunger and restrictions,” Mansour told ARA News. “They (civilians) are not thrilled with what is happening in the opposition areas, but what shall they do?”

Noteworthy, the Army of Islam group has been firing rockets since Sunday on the cities of Damascus and Latakia. The group’s commander Zahran Aloush described the operation as the beginning of a strategic change in the battlefield against the Assad regime.


Reporting by: Adel Hassan

Source: ARA News

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