Photo: AFP
Syrian soldier in Qusayr
Photo: AFP
Photo: AP
Rebels in Homs
Photo: AP

Report: Forces loyal to Assad execute 50 prisoners in Aleppo

Al Jazeera reports Assad loyalists, among them Hezbollah fighters, executed 50 prisoners in Aleppo prison. In meantime, 16 rockets hit Lebanon from Syria, Shiite shrine attacked

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad have executed some 50 prisoners in the central prison in Aleppo, Al Jazeera reported Saturday. Syrian government denies reports.


In the meantime, More than a dozen rockets and mortar rounds fired from Syria struck eastern Lebanon Saturday, security officials said, as tensions rise in the two countries' borderlands where Hezbollah militants are playing a bigger role in Syria's civil war.


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According to additional reports from Syria, the battles between rebels and government forces in Qusayr, not far from Homs, are continuing to rage on.


Hezbollah fighters are reportedly active in the battle as well.


The Lebanese security officials said the Baalbek region was struck 16 times, igniting fires in fields but causing no casualties. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.


Syrian rebels have fired dozens of rockets on Lebanon's northeastern region of Hermel over the past weeks but Saturday's attack was the first on Baalbek, a stronghold of Hezbollah. The Lebanese group is fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces against rebels who aim to overthrow him.


Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian war increased sharply in April, when the group's fighters and Syrian government forces began a major offensive to recapture Qusayr, which had fallen to the rebels shortly after the uprising against Assad began in March 2011.


The officials said the villages of Yanta, Brital and Saraeen were among the areas struck Saturday.


In another development, the officials said gunmen opened fire on a Shiite shrine in Baalbek, damaging it in an attack that could worsen frictions between the country's Shiites and Sunni Muslims. The attack on the shrine of Sayida Khawla, a great granddaughter of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, occurred shortly after midnight, the official said.


Meanwhile, a senior Britaish diplomat told the London-based Financial Times on Friday that Britian is likely to arm Syrian rebels by the end of the summer if peace talks fail to make meaningful headway during the planned Geneva peace conference.


The Associated Press contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 06.01.13, 14:43
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