AMMAN – A monitoring group said on Saturday Syrian government forces and allied militants killed 48 fighters and family members during last week’s offensive against opposition-held areas in Aleppo province, but the army denied it. “I deny completely such an act that cannot be committed by the Syrian army whose duty is to protect lives and not kill people,” a military
source told Reuters. He said armed groups kill residents whom they suspect of being loyal or working with the government and accuse the army of committing the acts. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday the dead were shot mainly in their homes in the village of Raitan on Tuesday shortly after the village fell to the army and loyalist forces including Iranian fighters and members of Lebanese Hezbollah. Five women and 10 children were among those killed, it added. Reuters could not verify these accounts.