[LATimes] "... The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition group, said this week that as many as 150 civilians, mostly Alawites, died "as a result of a series of explosions and gunfire” in Aqrab,.....
Britain’s Channel 4 News managed this week to reach the outskirts of Aqrab. Its version of events implicates the rebels.
The Channel 4 report quotes witnesses as saying the rebels entered Aqrab on Dec. 2 and "corralled around 500 Alawite civilians in a large red-colored, two-story house," according to a blog by Alex Thomson, the Channel 4 correspondent at the scene. The rebels sought to use the Alawite women and children as "human shields" to prevent government bombardment of a nearby rebel-held town, Channel 4 reported, citing witness statements.
Channel 4 recounted that negotiations to release the prisoners faltered and on Monday rebels opened fire on the building where they were being held.
According to the Channel 4 report, which aired Friday, about 70 prisoners escaped Tuesday but many people remained trapped in the building the day of the broadcast. Their fate could not be determined, the report said.
Nadim Houry, deputy director of the Middle East division of Human Rights Watch, said the situation in Aqrab was "very murky, .... I’m not using the word massacre. It’s not clear to me how they died." (I know how they died Mr. Houri. They died from your Love & Care! Unless you cannot bring yourself to say that Alawites are also humans, victims of massacres?!)