Syria: At Least 200 Killed in Hama Province Massacre, Say Activists
Syrian government troops and a pro-regime militia have killed more than 200 people, mostly civilians, in a village near the city of Hama, opposition activists reported in the early hours of Friday morning.
The massacre is said to have taken place in the village of Tremseh, starting early Thursday morning, when government forces are alleged to have surrounded the village and opened fire with mortars and artillery. Then an Alawite pro-government militia, the Shabiha, are reported to have moved into Tremseh and started carrying out executions.
A statement by the Hama Revolutionary Council said: “More than 220 people fell today in Tremseh. They died from bombardment by tanks and helicopters, artillery shelling and summary executions.
“It appears that Alawite militiamen from surrounding villages descended on Tremseh after its rebel defenders pulled out, and started killing the people. Whole houses have been destroyed and burned from the shelling,” Fadi Sameh, an opposition activist from Tremseh, told Reuters.
Sameh said he had left the town before the reported massacre but was in touch with residents.
“Every family in the town seems to have had members killed. We have names of men, women and children from countless families,” he said, adding that many of the bodies were taken to a local mosque.
Reuters also quoted an activist from the Union of Hama Revolutionaries, Ahmed, as saying: “We have reports of more than 220 killed. So far, we have 20 victims recorded with names and 60 bodies at a mosque. There are more bodies in the fields, bodies in the rivers and in houses … people were trying to flee from the time the shelling started and whole families were killed trying to escape.”