Syrian insurgents' execution of several members of a prominent Aleppo family with close ties to the government of President Bashar al-Assad, captured on video and circulated widely, appeared to constitute a war crime, according to human rights activists.
While the details remained murky, the killings appeared to stem from the pitched battles that have raged for days in Aleppo, the largest city in Syria and its commercial hub. Rebels accused members of the Barri family, a large Sunni clan well known for suppressing opposition to Mr Assad, of killing 15 anti-government fighters after initially pledging to let them pass through an area the Barri family controlled.
Video posted by anti-government activists showed more than a dozen men, some with bloodied faces and torn clothing, who are said to be members or associates of the clan. Held in what appeared to be a room at a school, they were made to state their names and accused of being pro-government militiamen known as shabiha. The man sitting in the centre, described as a leader of the group, said his name was Ali Zein El Abidin Barri, also known as Zeino.