The Human Rights Watch has released a 113 page report detailing their findings on an attack in Latakia, Syria, resulting in almost 200 civilian casualties. According to the report, there were two Syrian rebel groups involved in the attack, which killed innocent men, women, children, and wounded many others.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, and the Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, are the Syrian rebel groups held accountable, and are still holding hostages, according to the report.
On August 4, 2013, between 4:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., armed Syrian rebels entered three villages, and killed civilians at random; in some cases executing entire families, while in other homes they killed the males, and held women and children as hostages. The attack started on the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, which celebrates the end of Ramadan.
Human Rights Watch gathered the names of the murdered victims, which includes at least 18 children, 57 women, and 14 elderly men. Many of the murdered victims tried to flee, but were chased and gunned down. Eyewitnesses reported the Syrian rebels came into their homes, dressed in black, and carrying machine guns. The witnesses also reported the rebels had positioned snipers in surrounding areas. The Syrian rebels overran two government bases before entering the villages, killing 30 soldiers.
The Human Rights Watch report also reviews the hospital medical report, confirming 205 corpses arriving from the attack had been processed. The attacks lasted 12 days. According to the medical report,
the cause of death in several of the bodies was multiple gunshot wounds all over the bodies
In their report, Human Rights Watch also notes the conflict is not over, with
over 200 civilians, the vast majority of whom are women and children, continue to be held by the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar
On August 4, the Syrian rebels also kidnapped Sheikh Bader Ghazzal, a local religious leader, and executed him for his support of the Syrian government. The Human Rights Watch group is asking for the suspension of
all military sales and assistance, including technical training and services, to all forces credibly implicated in the commission of serious human rights violations in Syria