Activists: Syrian fighter jets hit Sunni village in regime's coastal heartland, killing 20


BEIRUT — Syrian opposition activists say government warplanes have bombed a predominantly Sunni Muslim village in the western heartland of President Bashar Assad’s minority Alawite sect, killing at least 20.

The strikes came amid a push by Assad’s forces to regain control of several Alawite villages in the mountainous Mediterranean coastal region, which the rebels overran earlier this week, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday.

It says fighter jets struck the village of Salma late Friday, and that at least half of the dead were fighters.

Syria’s conflict has taken on an increasingly sectarian tone in the last year, pitting predominantly Sunni Muslim rebels against a regime dominated by Alawites, an offshoot sect of Shiite Islam.