Saturday, May 26, 2012

Situation in Syria detoriates further, at least 90 killed in massacre in province of Homs

Amateur video shows bodies in Houla.

A report by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon paints an alarming picture of a situation in Syria that is further detoriating day by day. Groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad now control "significant" parts of some cities and there is "considerable physical destruction" across the country, it says. "There is a continuing crisis on the ground, characterised by regular violence, deteriorating humanitarian conditions, human rights violations and continued political confrontation," according to the report, obtained by AFP on Friday. The report is to be debated by the Security Council next week.
One of the latest examples of  how the situation again completely goes out of hand is an apparent massacre in the town of Houla in the province of Homs. The Britain-based Observatory said the shelling had killed more than 90 people in Houla, including 25 children. Amateur videos on YouTube (like the one posted here) showed horrifying images of children lying dead on a floor.
 Also for the first time since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime erupted 14 months ago, army tanks rumbled through Aleppo, said the Britain-based watchdog Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Hours after massive anti-regime rallies across Aleppo, tanks deployed in the city, rumbled through the Kalasse and Bustan al-Kasr neighbourhoods after thousands attended a funeral, it said. According to the Observatory five people were killed in Aleppo by gunfire, including two children.
 Rallies in support of the opposition were also reported from Damascus, in at least five residential neighbourhoods. Loyalist forces fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators marching in the Midan district, the Observatory reported, saying a child was killed by sniper fire in the suburb of Irbin. Both Aleppo nand Damascus have become part ofg the protests in the last few weeks.
The Observatory also said helicopter gunships went into action against rebels, strafing mountain villages in the Latakia area of northwestern Syria, near the Turkish border, wounding at least 20 people. And in southern Deraa province, birthplace of the uprising against Assad, troops fired on demonstrators, several of whom were wounded in Inkhel as they emerged from mosques after weekly Friday prayers, the watchdog said.
 Pictures: above: dead children in Houla. Down: bodies in Houla prepared for mass burial.

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