As government troops advanced on a village in northwestern Syria, activists say the terrified residents fled into a nearby valley. What happened next, one of the activists said, was "an organized massacre." The troops surrounded the valley and unleashed a barrage of rockets, bombs, and gunfire in an hours-long assault, according to two human rights groups and a witness, killing more than 100 people and leaving no survivors in one of the bloodiest days of a crackdown by President Bashar Assad against a nine-month popular uprising.
The White House said it was "deeply disturbed" by yesterday's attack, France called it a "murderous spiral," and the Arab League reminded the Assad regime of its responsibilities to protect civilians. The violence outside the village of Kfar Owaid, about 30 miles from the northern border with Turkey, comes as Arab League observers plan to arrive in the country tomorrow. The death toll from two days of violence this week topped 200. "It was an organized massacre," said Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "The troops surrounded people, then killed them."