Syrians Describe Executions, Burning of Villages By Army

The United Nations-backed peace plan to end the violence in Syria is “on track,” according to the office of Kofi Annan, special envoy to the U.N. and the Arab League who negotiated the plan back in April. At a U.N. briefing in Geneva on Friday, Annan’s spokesman, Ahmad Fawzi, said that negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition were continuing “under the radar.”

Fawzi’s comments were made at the same time as the Local Co-ordination Committees, the network of opposition activists, announced that at least 33 people had died across Syria and as wide-scale protests were staged. In Hama, long a center of anti-regime sentiment, government forces fired on protesters; activists also said soldiers fired on demonstrators outside the main mosque in the capital of Damascus.

Throughout the over-year-long uprising in Syria that has left over 9,000 dead, Friday has been a day of protest. This week, activists issued the slogan “Our commitment [to the revolution] is our salvation.”

Amnesty Issues Report on Crackdown in Syria

Also on Friday a report from Amnesty International by senior crisis adviser Donatella Rovera described executions and the destruction of houses by regime forces in the northern city of Idlib. The report is based on testimony from residents who described hundreds of homes in several villages burnt to the ground and of people terrorized by soldiers. Amother spoke of her sons taken from her home, only to find her “boys burning in the street.”

Rovera was in Syria for ten days during the second half of April. Here is one of the first-hand accounts from her report:

In Saraqeb, a woman told me that in the afternoon of 26 March soldiers came to her home and took her 15-year-old son and then her 21-year-old brother from the neighbour’s house next door. “I begged them not to take my boy, I told them that he is just a child, he still watched cartoons on TV; I tried to shield him with my body but they threatened me and took him away. And they also took my brother from the next door house. In the evening their bodies were found in the street, with others who had also been killed.”

Idlib has been under assault for the past six months. The attacks against the city intensified in March after Syrian troops routed the central city of Homs after laying siege to its Bab Amr district for weeks. According to the Guardian, ”in Idlib, as in Homs, what was once a popular, unarmed uprising has given way to a two-way fight” between government troops and “guerilla forces made up of the rebel Free Syria Army and residents who have taken up arms.”

Annan Spokesman Says U.N. Mission Is Only Option

U.N. monitors have been visiting restive parts of Syria. On Thursday, Norwegian Major General Robert Mood, the head of the U.N. observer mission, said that there was yet a “good chance and an opportunity” to end the violence in Syria. By the end of Friday, there were to be about 50 U.N. observers on the gorund in Syria; Fawzi also said that the U.N. has acquired commitments from about 150 of the 300 observers authorized by the U.N. Security Council.

Reporting from Beirut in neighboring Lebanon, Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin said that the U.N. is “trying to find a way around every obstacle” and seeking to make the mission work because, according to Annan’s spokesman Fawzi, there is no other option.

At the same time, the Obama administration expressed concern that the cease-fire is not holding in Syria and that, due to the “regime’s intransigence,” other measures would have to be explored.

 

Previous Care2 Coverage

Massive Explosion in Hama Threatens Syrian Ceasefire

Technology Makers That Aid Syria, Iran To Face Sanctions

Syria Failing To Follow Peace Proposal (Video)

 

Photo of the Syrian army by Elizabeth Arrott (VOA) via Wikimedia Commons

33 comments

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.3 years ago

I wonder to what extent the conflict has been stirred by the C.I.A.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.3 years ago

Shocking!

Sian R.
Sian R.4 years ago

Ang.H - "THE RIGHTEOUS AND TRUE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD ARE WITH YOUR STRUGGLE AGAINST THIS APPALLING MAN!!!!"

Strangely, 'the righteous and true people' - those who know Syria as opposed to those who feed on new reports - actually admire Assad. Since he took power his moves towards democracy have been multi-fronted, including opening six new universities in six years "so that the future Syria will be governed y educated people'.
Of course, when you begin a reforming programme, it's never enough for some. Perhaps the rebels sense it's their only opportunity to seize power?

Have you yet read about the attempted bombing of the UN representatives in Damascus - bombs actually claimed by two of the rebel groups?
The rebels have no sympathy for their fellow countrymen. (If they are fellow countrymen - what's happening now seems to indicate the truth of Assad's claims that too many of them are not Syrians at all.)

KS Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Ernie Miller
william Miller4 years ago

If the UN wont go to their aid you know they wont come to yours when the Corperat government of America decides to put down the last remaining resistance here.

John Duqesa
Past Member 4 years ago

Who is Chew? The propaganda writer for Care2 who supports Western/Zionist intervention in Syria and supported it in Libya.

David H.
David H.4 years ago

The Syrian 'government' has lost any right to be called that. It's actions against it's own citizens are sickening and illegitimate. The 'rebels' have a right, under international law, to take up arms and try to overthrow it.

Angela N.
Angela N.4 years ago

thank you!!

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia4 years ago

something must be done! these people are being brutally killed by their own governemnt while people are standing around doing nothing

Winn Adams
Winn Adams4 years ago

Terrible and so very sad.