Over 80 civilians in Adra, located in northwest of the Syrian capital of Damascus, have been executed by extremist militiamen with many others tortured and kidnapped.
Over 80 civilians in Adra, located in northwest of the Syrian capital of Damascus, have been executed by extremist militiamen with many others tortured and kidnapped, news websites reported Monday.
Citing a military source, Russia Today said that more than 80 people have been massacred by foreign-backed extremist militants while many others were kidnapped to be used as human shields.
Syrian army continues its large-scale operation against al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front terrorist group and Liwa Al-Islam militants, who had seized control over the town earlier this week, 20 kilometers away from Damascus.
Around 1,000 militants were in the town when it was enveloped by the army on Friday, state-run SANA news agency stated.
The military sources said the “armed groups have executed civilians” in Adra, RT correspondent reported from Syria.
“For now it’s established that over 80 people were killed in the areas now taken over by the army. Often whole families were murdered within three days,” he said.
The number of executed civilians is expected to rise after army troops manage to recover the rest of the town - which has a population of around 20,000 - from the extremists, the military source added.
“Some families were kidnapped in order to be used as human shields in areas where the Syrian army is now trying to free the civilians,” Albohaya stressed.
What the extremist militants did when they entered Adra on Wednesday morning was a “massacre,” one a local resident told RT.
“The situation was terrible - with killing, atrocities, and fear as the background. Unidentified armed men came into town, but it was obvious that they were Jabhat al-Nusra militants,” Muhammad Al-Said said.
“The worst crime they committed was that they toasted people in ovens used to bake bread when those people came to buy it. They kidnapped and beat up many,” he added.
According to Al-Said, the rebels committed the atrocities so they could place blame on government forces.
But the resident said that Adra citizens are “waiting for Syrian troops to save us from the terrorists, who came from other countries.”
Iraqi Al-Ahd television says this is the reason the Syrian army is abstaining from using artillery on Sunday.
“The military sources also said that the other kidnapped families were moved to the area south of Adra in the direction of the town of Duma, which has been the opposition’s strategic backland since the Syrian crisis erupted in mid-March 2011. It’s also where the most important militant groups' fortifications are situated,” Albohaya said.
The presence of opposition militants remains strong in Adra, with “snipers entrenched in high-rise buildings,” he added. “Many opposition militant groups are still acting in areas outside and within the town.”
The army’s special forces have performed several successful operations against those groups, which have resulted in the deaths of dozens of militants, the military source said.
The military is storming every house and has already freed dozens of families from the militants, Al-Ahd reported.
The army troops have cornered a highway leading to the international airport in Damascus, which is situated four kilometers away from Adra.
The military does not exclude the possibility that militants will break through the blockade in this direction, putting the nearby town of Dahiyat al Asad in danger, according to Al-Ahd.
The Syrian national military launched a wide-scale military operation in May 2013 in the country's main provinces to restore security and release citizens from terrorist threats.
Syria was hit by a violent unrest since mid-March 2011, where the Syrian government accuses foreign actors, mainly the Saudi Arabia and Turkey, of orchestrating the conflict by supporting the militant opposition groups with arms and money.