Syrian troops and militiamen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad chased, captured and then shot dead 27 young men in three northern villages, an opposition activists' group said on Wednesday.
The men, all civilians, were mostly shot in the head or chest on Tuesday in their homes or in streets in the villages of Idita, Iblin and Balshon in Idlib province near the border with Turkey, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said.
Military forces chased civilians in these villages, arrested them and killed them without hesitation. They concentrated on male youths and whoever did not manage to escape was to be killed, the organisation said in a statement.
Responsibility for this massacre lies with the general commander of the military and armed forces, Bashar al-Assad, the statement said, adding that only one youth survived the shootings.
Several YouTube videos taken by local activists in Idlib, which could not be independently confirmed, showed bodies of young men with bullet wounds lying in streets and in houses.
One video shows the body of three youths, one visibly shot in the chest, on the floor of a house in Balshon.
This is martyr Hassan Abdel Qadi al-Saeed, his brother Hussein and (their relative) Bashir Mohammad al-Saeed. They were liquidated by Assad's forces in the February 21 massacre, a voice of a man showing the bodies says, with the sound of women wailing in the background.
(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom; editing by David Stamp)