Pro-regime forces on Sunday recaptured most sections of a strategic town north of the Syrian capital, as opposition activists accused them of committing atrocities against civilians there.

Heavy clashes have raged since mid-November in Nabak, situated off a major highway about 50 miles northeast of Damascus, and in several surrounding towns and villages after fighters with al Qaeda’s affiliates in Syria attacked government positions in the area.

In what has become a pattern of rebel attacks and regime counterattacks over the past few weeks in the area north of Damascus known as the Qalamoun, civilians caught in the middle are paying a heavy price. […]