Syrian Troops 'Kill Family of 13'

BY: Isaac Yeboah

President Bashar al-AssadThirteen members of the same family, mostly women and children, have been killed by pro-government forces in north-west Syria, activist groups say.

Some reports say some of the victims were burnt alive, in the incident in Bayda near the coastal city of Banias.

The family members were said to be from a mostly Sunni village, but in an area where government supporters have been accused of trying to clear out Sunnis.

The new violence came as the UK said moderate rebels deserved support.

Even though the government of President Bashar al-Assad may have got "stronger" in recent months, there was a "stalemate" on the ground, Prime Minister David Cameron told the BBC.

Cameron said work must continue internationally to try to find a solution.

UK military chiefs have warned of the risks of arming rebel groups.

Cameron said there was "too much extremism" among the opposition, but moderate groups still deserved support.

In other developments:

       *Syrian government forces shell the town of Ariha in the north-western Idlib province, killing at least 13 people, with video shootage posted by activists appearing to show numerous mutilated bodies

      *Syria's state news agency Sana says government forces have killed "a large number" of rebels from the militant group Jabat al-Nusra near the western city of Adra

      *Kurdish forces in northern Raqqa province release the local commander of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, in return for 300 kidnapped Kurdish civilians

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights - which relies on a network on opposition activists on the ground - at least three men from the Fattouh family in Bayda were shot dead by government forces and militia in the latest violence.

Women and children from the same family were then crowded into one room in a house, where they were all killed, it said.

Some reports said they were burnt alive when the house was set on fire, others, that they were shot beforehand.

Source: Thisdayonline