Ten children were among at least 48 people killed in a Syrian village this week when regime forces executed six families of rebel fighters, a monitoring group said on Saturday.
Tuesday’s executions took place in the village of Rityan, north of second city Aleppo, after regime forces entered that day during an offensive aimed at cutting rebel supply lines to the Turkish border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Britain-based monitor said that villagers had discovered the bodies when they returned to their homes after the regime forces withdrew a day later.
Five women and 13 rebels from the six families were among the dead.
“The troops and militiamen knew exactly where they lived thanks to the informers who accompanied them,” the Observatory reported.
“There was no resistance except in one house where a rebel opened fire at troops before being executed along with his family.”
The brief seizure of Rityan was part of an abortive army offensive launched this week to try to encircle the rebel-held east of Aleppo and relieve two besieged Shiite villages to its north.
The heavy fighting claimed the lives of 129 regime loyalists and 116 rebels, including an Al-Nusra commander, according to an Observatory toll.
While the ground offensive failed, regime warplanes kept targeting rebel areas of the city of Aleppo and other parts of the country.
The Observatory has documented the killing of 5,812 civilians, including 1,733 children, 969 women and 3,110 men in barrel bombings and other air raids over the past year.
For the latest news follow us on Twitter
Join our Weekly Newsletter