Militia members, who remain loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, and government forces, stormed the village of al-Baida, along the coast of Syria. The raid killed up to 100 people including some women and children said activists opposed to the Syria regime.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in the UK said that the overall death toll from the raid would increase and might end up being over 100, with many that were killed appearing to have been executed by stabbing or shooting.
Reports also said that the raid was in response to an attack by rebels of a busload of fighters that were pro-Assad, referred to as shabiha, earlier on Thursday, which killed six and injured over 20.
Due to restrictions within Syria for news agencies, it cannot be independently verified that the reports of violence took place. The official news agency in Syria known as SANA, said government troops had killed terrorists, which is the regime’s term for the opposition rebel fighters.
The SOHR announced that the fighting had been the first in the Baniyas region, since the conflict began and that army forces had cut off all outside communication with the village of al-Baida.
Significant gains appear to have been made by government troops over the last few weeks as they have seized a number of suburbs on the outskirts of Damascus and recaptured some Homs province territory, which is the birthplace of the conflict.
The report over the violence in the coastal village came as U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that there was a possibility of arming Syria’s rebels now.