Syrian rebels killed at least 190 civilians and took more than 200 hostage during a military offensive in the northern province of Latakia in August, a watchdog group said Friday, dpa reported.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch said at least 67 of the victims were "executed or unlawfully" killed around pro-government villages, dominated by members of President Bashar al-Assad's Alwaite minority.
On August 4, opposition fighters overran Syrian army positions guarding the area and entered more than 10 villages.
The 105-page report, entitled You Can Still See Their Blood, said the evidence "strongly suggests that the killings, hostage taking, and other abuses committed by the opposition forces on August 4 rise to the level of crimes against humanity."
The group accused al-Qaeda-linked groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, adding that these terrorist organizations are still holding hostages, including women and children.
"These abuses were not the actions of rogue fighters," said Joe Stork, HRW's acting Middle East director. "This operation was a coordinated, planned attack on the civilian population in these Alawite villages."
He called on the UN Security Council to immediately refer Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC). HRW has also documented war crimes and crimes against humanity by Syrian government forces.
It described the nature of injuries suffered by the victims as multiple gunshot or stabbing wounds. It said the presence of 43 women, children and elderly among the dead together indicate "that opposition forces either intentionally or indiscriminately killed most of the remaining victims."
More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria's almost three-year war, according to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, the UN's agency for refugees said Friday that Germany has received a second batch Syrian refugees.
UNHCR in Beirut said 106 refugees flew to Germany on Thursday as part of a UN programme to relocate Syrian refugees in Western countries. Germany received more than 100 refugees in September.
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