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Red Cross Barred From Entering Bab Amr in Syria

Red Cross Barred From Entering Bab Amr in Syria

The Red Cross has been able to retrieve the bodies of American war correspondent Marie Colvin and French photographer Rémi Ochlik, both of whom were killed last Wednesday when a media center in the Bab Amr district of Homs was shelled. Syrian authorities handed over the bodies of both journalists, which have arrived in the capital of Damascus and will be flown home. But a seven-vehicle Red Cross convoy was unable to enter Bab Amr to bring desperately needed food and medical supplies, despite having gotten approval from the Syrian government.

Red Cross Jakob Kellenberger said that the halting of the Red Cross convoy was simply “unacceptable.” Bab Arm has been under siege for nearly a month by Syrian forces, who took control of the district on Thursday after members of the rebel Free Syrian Army made a “tactical withdrawal.” Since then, there have been reports of soldiers and pro-government gunmen known as shabiha carrying out house-by-house searches. Bassel Fouad, a Syrian activist who fled to Lebanon from Bab Amr two days ago, told the Guardian that ten men were lined up on Thursday and shot dead and that anyone over the age of 14 — other reports have said over the age of 10 — has been detained; these reports could not be independently verified.

Kellenberger said that the Red Cross convoy would remain overnight in Homs in the hope of being able to enter soon. The arrival of the convoy occurred as at least 12 people, including children, were killed in Rastan, another central city.

On Friday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the international community “had failed in its duty, and inaction had encouraged Syria’s leaders in their repression of civilians.” The UN estimates that over 7,500 have been killed since the uprising began almost a year ago; activists put the death toll at over 8,000.

The U.S. and Britain have already withdrawn their embassies; France said on Friday that it is closing its embassy. Ambassador Eric Chevallier had been recalled to Paris and had only recently returned to Damascus to assist in efforts to evacuate French journalist Edith Bouvier, who was wounded in the attack that killed Colvin and Ochlik. She and her colleague William Daniels were first smuggled out of Homs into Lebanon and arrived in France on Friday.

Protests were held throughout Syria on Friday in what was named “The Friday of Equipping the Free Syrian Army” — a reference to reports that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries have spoken of arming the opposition — and despite the presence of government forces. Protests occurred even in Homs; in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo; and in some suburbs of Damascus. Central Damascus itself was quiet with a stepped-presence of security forces and no buses or mass transport allowed downtown.

While criticizing the West for siding with the Syrian opposition, Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin of Russia seemed to distance himself from President Bashar al-Assad. In interviews with six foreign newspapers in Moscow, Putin said that “serious domestic problems” were more than evident in Syria and that he did not “know whether Syrian society — the government forces and the opposition — can come to an agreement, find some consensus that is acceptable to everyone, but that would have been the best solution.”

 

Previous Care2 Coverage

Syrian Rebels Withdraw From Homs, Syrian Army Takes Over

A “Farce” of a Referendum Held in Syria As Violence…

Turkey’s Jewish Narrative: Tolerance With A Dark Side

 

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Photo of the Syrian military by Elizabeth Arrott via Wikimedia Commons

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25 comments

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8:33AM PST on Mar 9, 2012

That was expected with countries like Syria and their selfish leaders at the helm of affairs.

8:23PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

Poor Bob M. That's all I can say.

I'd hate to be you.

7:00PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

Thas it pillow... "Pooh poohed"... was just going to bow outa this cesspool of political intrigue you are playing in..."pooh poohed"... wow ..we'll just bow to your super powers of analysis; I surrender to your peepin and hidin style ...This political voyeurism isn't worth a single hair of that baby boys head....be sure and brush your teeth.

3:42AM PST on Mar 4, 2012

And the reason for the delay, that booby traps have to be cleared to make it safe for the RC to enter is not mentioned or pooh-poohed.

2:42AM PST on Mar 4, 2012

..."a seven-vehicle Red Cross convoy was unable to enter Bab Amr to bring desperately needed food and medical supplies, despite having gotten approval from the Syrian government."
Which, of course, is completely at odds with the headline 'Red Cross Barred from Entering Bab Amr'

I'm not willing to blame Kristina for the headline. But I do wonder what Care2 is up to giving this story such a msleading headline.

1:56PM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Martin L

"I think what is being forgotton here, there are a large number of Syrians who either support their government or who support neither side, yet the US and the West forget to mention this and make claims that everybody supports the rebels and insurgents, foreign fighters now being armed by those in the Anti Syrian Camp, so-called Friends of Syria!!!"

And al-Assad has won an impressive majority in the referendum - and these hypocritical Zionist Imperialists and their lackeys are criticising him for it.

1:52PM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Oh dear Bob M

So the BBC reporter said it was bombardment of civilians. And 2 days ago the BBC reported that the so-called Free Syrian Army, as well as other factions of foreign directed and financed fighters, were leaving Baba Amr. Which is it?

A week ago, the reporters were supposed to have been killed by precision missiles which the legitimate government allegedly has. The rest of the time, it has been indiscriminate bombing. Which is it?

Doesn't anyone have a memory or any powers of analysis at all?

12:50PM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Oh my; what can we say about week upon week of sniper shot killings of hundreds demonstrating in mass ;which precipitated the now artillary barages and tank rout of civilians ...reported by reporter just brought wounded ...out of HOMS...he said it was a civilian slaughter....HMMMM...
But of couse...the civilians there were blissfully in agreement that it was a rebel killing adventure going on in their midst.. blissfully ignorant they being in there own neighbourhoods .But ; yes ..we can settle for Assada the terrible or a big bite of salami or die tomorrow... what a tragedy.. I still sorrow of seeing that little two year old boy breathing his last breaths.
What a fucking obscenity.!

12:30PM PST on Mar 3, 2012

S'aright folks; our John D. is by his own definition.. a bit odd

11:42AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

I agree with Martin L , John D, Rob and Jay B completely..

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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