12 Syrians Workers Killed Marking The Third Massacre This Week
Evidence of a new massacre — the third in a week — surfaced Friday in Syria as a called for an “international, transparent, independent and prompt investigation” of mass killings last week in the township of Houla that left more than 100 people dead, mostly women and children slaughtered in their homes.
Both sides in the conflict reported Friday that the bodies of a dozen workers at a government-run fertilizer factory had been found dumped in a field near the central town of Qusair, all apparently shot.
The slayings fit a disturbing pattern of motorists and bus passengers being yanked from their vehicles at checkpoints and executed, apparently because of their sect or perceived allegiance, or lack of allegiance, to the government of President Bashar Assad.
Government and rebel checkpoints now mark many roads in Syria, especially in conflict zones such as the central province of Homs, where the latest reported mass killing occurred. Some checkpoints have become killing zones or kidnapping sites, according to both sides in the conflict.
The slayings of the factory workers again raised fear that Syria is plunging into a cycle of tit-for-tat sectarian massacres and a possible civil war, concern voiced this week by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, among others.
The killers in Syria’s escalating series of massacres typically remain anonymous as each side blames the other, a scenario that unfolded again after the latest incident.