The Head of Syria’s inquiry committee said Thursday that preliminary investigations indicated that 800 heavily armed men carried out attacks on government forces and slaughtered families in Houla.

Brigadier-General Qasem Jamal Sulaiman said during a press conference that the armed groups’ attacks targeted two army bases in the area. He added that the government troops responded in self- defense but did not leave their bases or enter Houla.

He also said that the families targeted were peaceful ones who have neither participated in anti-government activities nor taken up arms. He said that armed groups have sought revenge on families for not joining attacks on government troops and to spark international sympathy.

Sulaiman stressed that those are only the initial assessments, and were based on testimony from eye witnesses. He added that a final report would be submitted to the international community once available.


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