In a report on Channel 4 television on Friday, the massacre of up to 250 civilians in the town of Aqrab was said to have been carried out by rebel forces, and not the Syrian government forces.
According to rebels’ propaganda websites, on December 2 they entered Aqrab where government forces imprisoned hundreds of their own supporters in a large building in the city and later completely destroyed it in an attack that killed up to 250 civilians.
However, eye-witnesses who had managed to escape the town told Channel 4 correspondent Alex Thomson that up to 500 were held prisoners by rebels after the attack.
The report quoted witnesses as saying that they remained imprisoned without food or water for nine days until Tuesday December 11 when they “described three truckloads of prisoners [which took them] to a nearby village and safety.”
“A fourth truck left but never made it to the village” the report added. “That truck went to the rebel-held al-Houla.”
While the fate of the rest of the prisoners taken to al-Houla is not clear, the report quoted officials of a neighboring city as saying that they were killed by rebels.
This comes as such speculations are intensified considering that rebels’ London-based mouthpiece the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said last week that as many as 150 civilians have been killed in Aqrab.
Meanwhile, an eye-witnesses said she “could not quite understand what they said” and that “they were not dressed in a normal way” suggesting the rebels who locked them up in Aqrab were not Syrian nationals.
More on the Channel 4 website