Armed groups fighting against the Syrian government have summarily executed at least 20 soldiers in the flashpoint city of Aleppo. The insurgents say the soldiers were captured in an attack on a military compound in the eastern district of Hanano sometime over the weekend, AFP quoted opposition sources as saying on Monday. According to a video posted on YouTube, the soldiers had their hands tied behind their backs and their eyes blindfolded before they were lined up and shot. The military base, which serves as a weapons storage depot, conscript recruitment center and the headquarters of the local branch of the military police and riot police, is now under the full control of the Syrian army after days of fierce clashes with armed groups. Insurgents controlled a part of the strategic base in Hanano for several days.
"The Syrian army is in total control of the Hanano barracks after fighting which came to a complete halt during the night," a Syrian military official said on Monday from inside the base.Meanwhile, there are reports of clashes between government troops and foreign-backed insurgents in other parts of Aleppo, including Mysar and Qadi Askar. The capital, Damascus, however, is reported calm, following the army’s operation to clear the city of insurgents. Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus blames ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists’ for the unrest while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the violence. The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside and accuses certain Arab and Western countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, of arming and funding insurgent fighting against the government. HM/JR/AZ