Although the Syrian government has been deemed guilty of numerous atrocities against its own people, the rebels trying to overthrow Bashar al-Assad may have once again crossed the line themselves. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been tracking daily reports of casualties in the country, says that at least 60 people were killed by rebel forces when they attacked a Shiite village near the border with Iraq. Official government sources described the attack as a "massacre" that included old people and children, though the rebels says they were battling pro-government soliders.
The nature of the deaths are unconfirmed, but rebels did admit to attacking the village of Halta and wresting it from government control. (As many as 10 rebels were also killed.) Tuesday's attack may have been retaliation for an attack by Shiite fighters from Halta who killed four rebels on Monday.
While most of the civilian deaths in Syria have clearly been caused by Assad's forces, the United Nations has repeatedly warned that both sides are guilty of war crimes. From executions of unarmed prisoners to retaliatory attacks on villages that protect the opposition, no segment of Syrian society has been spared from the worst of the fighting. And as the war has dragged on, old sectarian rivalries have re-emerged, leading to numerous attacks and reprisals that have added even more chaos to the war.
According the United Nations, the war has killed more than 80,000 Syrians and displaced hundreds of thousands more across every region of the country.