NEWS

Syria Hama Massacre Reports Are Brutal And Sickening, David Cameron Says

07/06/2012 09:16 | Updated 07 June 2012

Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned reports of a "brutal and sickening" massacre of civilians in Syria and called for "concerted action" from the international community against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Speaking during a visit to Norway, Cameron said the massacre of at least 86 people, many of them women and children, was further proof that the Assad regime was "completely illegitimate and cannot stand".

Activists have blamed pro-government militia and security forces for the deaths in the farming villages of Qubair and Maarzaf, 12 miles north of Hama. Horrific reports have emerged from activists close to the scene including one of a three-month old baby burned to death and others of men being stabbed outside their homes

Describing the attack, activists from the Syrian Network for Human Rights said that tanks rolled in "levelling half the houses". Pro-government forces then opened fire randomly on the residents of the villages, leading the men outside and "slaughtering many of them by knives".

Many of the victims were burned after being stabbed, claims the joint report by SNHR and Damascus Centre for Human Rights Studies.

The pro-government militia wanted to "obscure evidence of the crime," avoiding the international outrage provoked by the Houla massacre earlier in May, activists report, claiming 37 bodies were also abducted.

There are also reports that some of the victims were shot at close range. One activist told the BBC's World Tonight that he had seen the body of a three-month-old baby "burned to death."

"One of the most painful scenes is the burned bodies [showing] a woman embracing her two children all of whom were burned to death due to shelling" report activists.

The SNHR claim that only a few remaining villagers managed to escape. There are unconfirmed reports that more than 100 people were killed, according to Sky News, which would make the massacre some of the worst bloodshed in the 15 month uprising. UN monitors are currently on their way to the village to confirm the deaths, reports the BBC.

Both Quabiar and Maarzaf are small villages, with a CNN correspondant tweeting that more than 70 people have died in Quabiar, which already had a tiny population of 150.

bodies syria

Taken from a video posted on the Facebook page for the Activists News Association this shows some of the bodies after the massacre. This has not been independently verified

Syrian state TV said troops found some bodies after attacking "terrorists".

A statement on Syrian state TV reported by AFP added: "The reports by the media are contributing to spilling the blood of Syrians."

Cameron said: "If these reports are true, it is yet another absolutely brutal and sickening attack.

"Frankly, the international community has got to condemn absolutely this regime and President Assad for what he is doing.

"I think that lots of different countries in the world - countries that sit around the UN Security Council table - have got to sit down today and discuss this issue.

He called on the international community to "do much more" to "isolate Syria, to isolate the regime, to put the pressure on and to demonstrate that the whole world wants to see a political transition from this illegitimate regime and to actually see one that can take care of its people.

"It really is appalling, what is happening in that country, and I want to see concerted action from the international community."

syria david cameron youtube

David Cameron has condemned the attacks, which is one of the bloodiest in the 15-month uprising against Assad

His words convey a clear message to Russia and China, which have blocked international action against Assad. At a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York on Thursday UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is expected to propose a contact group to try and revive his ailing peace plan, which was meant to see a ceasefire between opposition groups and Assad's regime in April. The council would include international and regional powers, including Russia and China which would then negotiate with the government in Damascus.

The massacre in the villages outside Hama follow some of the the worst bloodshed since the start of the U.N peace plan. An attack on Houla, in central Syria, resulted in the deaths of more than 90 people, including 32 children under the age of 10, according to United Nations observers, earlier in May.

president assad

A picture released by state television, Sana, President Assad denied that pro-government gunman carried out the killings in Houla

Local activist Abu Yazan told the paper that the shelling killed 12 people, with 106 killed by pro-regime thugs called "shabiha".

Videos posted to an activist network appear to show the killings in Hama, but they have not been independently verified. The content is too graphic to embed in this article.

Live updates on the crisis in Syria:

07/13/2012 1:00 PM EDT

Car Bomb In Damascus

syria car bomb

Syrian policemen inspect the site of a car bomb explosion on Mazzeh highway in the capital Damascus on July 13, 2012. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/GettyImages)

07/13/2012 12:00 PM EDT

Susan Rice Condemns Killings

U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice tweets:

@ AmbassadorRice :

#Syria regime turned artillery, tanks and helicopters on its own men & women. It unleashed knife-wielding shabiha gangs on its own children.

07/13/2012 11:58 AM EDT

Russia Condemns Massacre

Russia says international envoy Kofi Annan will visit Moscow on Monday to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria. Russia also called for an inquiry into an alleged massacre that took place in the village of Tramseh on Thursday. "We have no doubt that this wrongdoing serves the interests of those powers that are not seeking peace but persistently seek to sow the seeds of interconfessional and civilian conflict on Syrian soil," Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters. Moscow did not apportion blame for the killings.

Read more on Reuters.com.

07/13/2012 11:55 AM EDT

Footage Of Massacre Aftermath (WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS DISTURBING IMAGES)

The Associated Press obtained a video that purports to show the aftermath of an alleged massacre in the village of Tramseh, near Hama.

07/13/2012 9:34 AM EDT

How Do Syrian Fighters Get Their Arms?

How do Syria's fighters get their arms? An overview put together by Reuters explains that there are three gateways to the country -- Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq.

Syrian rebels are smuggling small arms into Syria through a network of land and sea routes involving cargo ships and trucks moving through Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq, maritime intelligence and Free Syrian Army (FSA) officers say.

Western and regional powers deny any suggestion they are involved in gun running. Their interest in the sensitive border region lies rather in screening to ensure powerful weapons such as surface to air missiles do not find their way to Islamist or other militants.

Read the full report here.

07/13/2012 9:10 AM EDT

Activists Report New Massacre (WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS)

syria

This citizen journalism image made from video provided by Shaam News Network SNN, purports to show a victim wounded by violence that, according to anti-regime activists, was carried out by government forces in Tremseh, Syria about 15 kilometers (nine miles) northwest of the central city of Hama, Thursday, July 12, 2012. The accounts, some of which claim more than 200 people were killed in the violence Thursday, could not be independently confirmed, but would mark the latest in a string of brutal offensives by Syrian forces attempting to crush the rebellion. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network, SNN)

syria

This citizen journalism image made from video provided by Shaam News Network SNN, purports to show a man mourning a victim killed by violence that, according to anti-regime activists, was carried out by government forces in Tremseh, Syria about 15 kilometers (nine miles) northwest of the central city of Hama, Thursday, July 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network, SNN)

07/12/2012 6:50 PM EDT

Hama Revolutionary Council: More Than 220 Killed

According to the Hama Revolutionary Council, a Syrian opposition group, more than 220 people have been killed in a new alleged massacre in Taramseh. Earlier reports said more than 100 people were killed. "More than 220 people fell today in Taramseh," the Council said in a statement. "They died from bombardment by tanks and helicopters, artillery shelling and summary executions."

Fadi Sameh, an opposition activist from Taramseh, told Reuters he had left the town before the reported massacre but was in touch with residents. "It appears that Alawite militiamen from surrounding villages descended on Taramseh after its rebel defenders pulled out, and started killing the people. Whole houses have been destroyed and burned from the shelling," Sameh claimed.

Read more on Reuters.com.

07/12/2012 6:17 PM EDT

Syrian State TV: 'Large Numbers Of Terrorists Killed'

Syrian activist Rami Jarrah tweets that Syrian State TV has confirmed deaths in Tremseh. "Terrorists" is often the term used by the Syrian regime for opposition forces.

@ AlexanderPageSY :

Syrian State TV: clashes between security apparatus & terrorists in #Tremseh of #Hama leaves large numbers of terrorists killed #Syria

07/12/2012 5:36 PM EDT

Update: Death Toll In New Massacre Reportedly More Than 200

@ Reuters :

UPDATE: DEATH TOLL IN SYRIAN FORCES' ATTACK ON VILLAGE IN SYRIA'S HAMA REGION IS MORE THAN 200, MOSTLY CIVILIANS - OPPOSITION ACTIVISTS

07/12/2012 5:33 PM EDT

Reports Of New Massacre In Hama

@ Reuters :

At least 100 killed in Syrian village: opposition activists http://t.co/FG3fJwu8

","short_text":"

Video purports to show shelling in the city of Homs on Monday July 9, 2012. (Video could not independently be verified)

","short_text":"

","short_text":"

","short_text":"

","short_text":"

","short_text":"

An amateur video out of Syria obtained by Reuters purports to show shells hitting the city of Homs on Monday and and injured child being carried away in Aleppo. (Video could not independently be verified.)

","short_text":"

Opposition activists say dozens of people were killed on Saturday when an explosion hit a funeral procession in a suburb of Damascus. The Associated Press reports that activists blame government forces for the blast.

A video uploaded to YouTube ...Read More"},{"id":"809","created":"06/29/2012 12:05 PM EDT","title":"Helicopter Gunships Bomb Strategic Town","tweet_link":"809_helicopter-gunships-bomb-strategic-town","entry_text":"

Syrian helicopter gunships bombed a strategic town in Idlib province overnight, while tanks moved closer to the city of Aleppo, Reuters reports. Opposition activists said more than 170 tanks have assembled near the village of Musalmieh near Aleppo, 19 miles from the Turkish border. \"They're either preparing to move to the border to counter the Turkish deployment or attack the rebellious (Syrian) towns and villages in and around the border zone north of Aleppo,\" a defected officer told Reuters.

Read more on HuffPost World.

","short_text":"

Syrian helicopter gunships bombed a strategic town in Idlib province overnight, while tanks moved closer to the city of Aleppo, Reuters reports. Opposition activists said more than 170 tanks have assembled near the village of Musalmieh near Aleppo, 19 ...Read More"},{"id":"808","created":"06/29/2012 11:39 AM EDT","title":"Annan 'Optimistic' About Scheduled Talks","tweet_link":"808_annan-optimistic-about-scheduled-talks","entry_text":"

U.N. peace envoy Kofi Annan told Reuters he is \"optimistic\" that scheduled talks on the crisis in Syria will produce results. World powers are meeting in Geneva on Saturday to discuss a new proposal by the envoy to end the deadlock in Damascus. Earlier this week, Annan floated the possibility of creating a national unity government in Syria.

Yet it remains unclear if the high-level meeting will yield results. According to Reuters, Russia proposed changes to Annan's plan on Thursday, but the United States, Britain, and France rejected the amendments. Syrian President Bashar Assad also has reiterated that his government dismisses any outside solution for the crisis.

Read more on Reuters.com.

","short_text":"

U.N. peace envoy Kofi Annan told Reuters he is \"optimistic\" that scheduled talks on the crisis in Syria will produce results. World pow...Read More"},{"id":"807","created":"06/29/2012 11:17 AM EDT","title":"Syria's Ghost Towns","tweet_link":"807_syrias-ghost-towns","entry_text":"

An amateur video out of northern Syria purports to show a deserted town where buildings have been abandoned and stores have been closed. \"Life is almost nonexistent here,\" one resident says, according to a Reuters translation. \"There has been consistent shelling and mobilization of sharp shooters on rooftops,\" he adds. Watch the full report in the video below.

","short_text":"

An amateur video out of northern Syria purports to show a deserted town where buildings have been abandoned and stores have been closed. \"Life is almost nonexistent here,\" one resident says, according to a Reuters translation. \"There has been consiste...Read More"},{"id":"806","created":"06/29/2012 10:35 AM EDT","title":"Dozens Of Bodies Lined Up In Street","tweet_link":"806_dozens-of-bodies-lined-up-in-street","entry_text":"

Activists say more than 190 people were killed in Syria on Friday, making it one of the deadliest days in the country's uprising. Video posted to YouTube purports to show dozens of bodies wrapped in white burial shrouds lined up in a street of Douma.

Syrian forces intensified their assault on the Damascus suburb on Thursday, pounding the neighborhood with tank and artillery shells.

Read more on HuffPost World.

","short_text":"

Activists say more than 190 people were killed in Syria on Friday, making it one of the deadliest days in the country's uprisi...Read More"},{"id":"805","created":"06/28/2012 4:04 PM EDT","title":"Compelling Report Out Of Ariha","tweet_link":"805_compelling-report-out-of-ariha","entry_text":"

Tracey Shelton traveled to the town of Ariha in Syria's Idlib province for GlobalPost. Watch her compelling report in the video below.

","short_text":"

Tracey Shelton traveled to the town of Ariha in Syria's Idlib province for GlobalPost. Watch her compelling report in the video below.

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS