Horror Escalates in Syria as U.N. Tries Again to Reach Resolution
Fresh violence flared in several Syrian cities Saturday, including the killing of a Syrian general, as world powers mulled a way to halt the government’s bloody offensive against civilians.
Hundreds of people have died in Homs in the past week and at least six were killed Saturday, said the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists. Homs, located in the country’s west, is Syria’s third largest city.
“Today is the seventh day in a row we’re under shelling — nonstop bombardment,” an activist named Omar said Saturday. He said government forces have surrounded the area with thousands of soldiers and dozens of tanks: “Not the normal tanks. Big tanks. Russian tanks.”
“We just want from Assad to give us permission to move the injured baby — they are just the babies,” said an activist named Omar, referring to President Bashar al-Assad. “They have to leave the area to have a good treatment. … He don’t even let us save and treat our (injured) babies.”
Syria activists plead for help Zakaria: Iran loses in Syrian civil war Activist: ‘We’re all going to die here’ Doctors: Syria withholding basic care
Unrest rippled in the south as five men in the southern province of Daraa were killed when a a tank attacked them in the town of Al Musefra, LCC activist Abu Oudai said. Daraa is where the government security crackdown and the nationwide uprising started in mid-March.
In suburban Damascus, another violent hotspot, an activist was killed, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition activist group.
The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said an “armed terrorist group” assassinated Brig. Gen. Issa al-Kholi, a military physician who was the director of Hamish Hospital, in front of his Damascus house Saturday morning. He was shot to death.
The unrest spread to neighboring Lebanon, where sectarian clashes broke out in the city of Tripoli between members of al-Assad’s Alawite sect and Sunnis who staged a protest in support of the opposition. One person died, the Lebanese state-run NNA news agency reported Saturday.
World leaders have tried to pass resolutions denouncing the regime’s bloody crackdown, but have been stymied by Russia and China in sending a unified message.
Almost a week after Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution intended to stop the killing, Saudi Arabia has drafted a similarly worded document — but one that lacks the same punch.