Scores of civilians from the minority Alawite community of which President Bashar al-Assad is a member have been reportedly killed in the central province of Hama.
Bomb attacks in the village of Aqrab killed or wounded at least 125 civilians, said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which could not immediately give a breakdown of the casualties.
"We cannot know whether the rebels were behind this attack, but if they were, this would be the largest-scale revenge attack against Alawites," said observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
Al Jazeera's Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut, said: "What happened there is obviously for many people in Syria an alarming sign, especially because many of those who have been killed are Alawites."
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2012 19:43
You see things just as I feared are rapidly dwindling out of control because the world including the United Sates keeps dragging their feet and doing largely symbolic gestures and what they have done that actually make a difference is far too little and far too late. I am tired of this being allowed to continue and the world doing nothing of substance to put a quick stop to it. How many more have to die before we act?