- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Syrian rebels attacked a village in the eastern Deir el-Zour province on Tuesday, killing more than 60 people, including civilians, activists said Wednesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group based in London, relies on a network of thousands of sources inside Syria from both sides of the conflict and said many of those killed in the village of Hatla were pro-Assad Shi’ite militiamen, CBS News reported.

While many politicians call for the West to arm the Syrian rebels, the conflict in the war-torn country is extremely complicated, “and the men who committed at least some of the killings in Hatla were not Syrian, and were not men who the West would want to arm,” CBS News reported.

A video posted to YouTube by rebels on Tuesday, titled “The storming and cleansing of Hatla,” showed the dead bodies of several Shi’ite Syrians in Hatla and dozens of men carrying Islamist flags and firing guns in the streets as smoke emanated from buildings, Reuters reported.

“We have raised the banner ‘There is no God but God’ above the houses of the apostate rejectionists, the Shi’ites, and the holy warriors are celebrating,” the voice of the cameraman says.

CBS News said the man speaking is not Syrian, he is Kuwaiti, and many of the armed “rebels” seen with him in the video have Kuwaiti and Iraqi accents.

An activist based in Deir el-Zour said the rebel attack was in retaliation for an attack Monday by Shi’ites from Hatla that killed four rebels, the Associated Press reported.

“The situation in the village is quiet, and the Free Syrian Army is in full control,” Thaer al-Deiry told the AP.

The Observatory said many Shi’ite civilians had fled to the government-held village of Jafra, CBS News reported.