U.S. appalled by reports of Syria massacre

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The White House said Monday it was appalled by “horrific” reports of a new massacre in Syria after a watchdog group said over 100 people, many of them civilians, were killed in a town near Damascus.

“We are appalled by horrific reports that hundreds of Syrians were killed over the weekend in a Damascus suburb,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

“As the violence drags out while President Assad clings to power, we cannot lose sight of the men, women and children whose lives are being so brutally cut short.”

“We reinforce our solidarity with the Syrian people, even as we strongly condemn this massacre.”

Earlier, a watchdog group said that more than 100 people were found dead in a town near Damascus after a five-day operation to retake the town by regime troops.

“There are 101 martyrs who have been identified in Jdaidet al-Fadl, which was taken completely by the army on Sunday. The victims are 10 women, three children and 88 men, including 24 rebels,” Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP.

On Sunday, the group said it has confirmed the deaths of at least 80 people killed during shelling on the area, fighting and in summary executions.

The organization distributed several gruesome videos shot by activists showing bodies that bore signs of torture or mutilation.

An activist in Damascus said Sunday that all communications, water and electricity had been cut off in Jdaidet al-Fadl, adding that some of the corpses were “found in one of the hospitals” in the town.

She said some of the bodies had been beaten, and others burnt.

Since last year, the army has tried to root out rebels positioned southwest and east of Damascus, in a bid to secure the capital.