UN Team: Syria Targeted Rebels in Tremseh

But the massacre violated Syria's commitment to peace
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2012 3:29 PM CDT
This amateur video purports to show families gathered around bodies of victims killed by violence that, according to anti-regime activists, was carried out by government forces in Tremseh, Syria.   (AP Photo/ Hama Revolution 2011 via AP video)
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(Newser) – A visiting UN mission said today that Syria's assault on the village of Tremseh targeted mostly activists and rebels, not civilians, as some reports had claimed. But the attack did violate Syria's peace commitment to the UN and the Arab League by using heavy weapons such as artillery and mortars, the mission said. Special envoy Kofi Annan said he was "shocked and appalled" by the massacre, which killed at least 200 people, the BBC reports.

In other Syria news today:

  • Tremseh villagers endured seven hours of shelling before being hunted down house by house, they tell the Guardian. "We don't understand why they attacked us," a woman said. "All we've done here is hold demonstrations."
  • Turkish leaders slammed their Syrian counterparts, saying Syria's people will "make them pay" for such massacres, MSNBC reports.
  • The Red Cross labeled the uprising an "internal armed conflict"—or civil war—which lays the groundwork for possible war crimes prosecutions.
  • Violence continued in the town of Khirbet Ghazaleh, where government helicopter gunships and hundreds of soldiers reportedly attacked. "The shelling has wounded dozens of people but we don't have medical resources to treat them," said one activist.
  • Fighting across the country claimed 28 lives today and 118 yesterday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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